Mob goes on rampage after school van mows down teen

Burns down computers, furniture at institution's premises

Mob goes on rampage after school van mows down teen

A group of about 40 people went on a rampage through a private school in Sampigehalli on Wednesday evening, a day after a van belonging to the institution mowed down a college student near Chokannahalli. 

The mob ransacked the school property and burnt down furniture, computers and electronic equipment. 

The family members of Sampath Kumar, 19, who was killed in the accident involving a van of Green Grove International School on Tuesday evening, brought his body to the institution’s premises around 4 pm on Wednesday and staged a protest. But as the school had been closed for the last three days on account of festivals, the mob went on a rampage through it, breaking windowpanes and destroying the furniture. It also set afire a computer lab which also stored Xerox machines and other electronic equipment, Sampigehalli police said. 

Kumar, a student at Yelahanka Government College, was riding a two-wheeler when the school van struck him. Sharanappa Patil, 28, a security guard from a private agency hired by the school, was driving the van, police added. Passersby rushed Kumar to a hospital but he died of injuries midway. 

Meanwhile, Sampigehalli traffic police seized the school bus and handed over Patil to the law and order police. “He was not a driver. He worked for Clarity Solutions, a private security agency, and was hired by the school. On Tuesday, he got drunk and drove off the school van which later mowed down Kumar,” a police officer said. 

The school principal, Aruna P, termed the accident “unfortunate” and said she did not know how Patil had laid his hands on the van keys and driven off. “We were not even aware of the incident until police informed us,” she said. “Had the victim’s family approached us, we would have extended every help possible. Ransacking the school is unacceptable.” 

Van keys kept in safe

Aruna said the van keys had been kept in a safe as the driver was on leave. “The school was closed for the last three days and left under the care of the security guard. I have no idea how he got the van keys.” 

The principal claimed the school suffered a loss of “Rs 1.5-2 crore” after it was vandalised. “The mob damaged all the furniture, books, computer lab, music room, digital boards, etc. Not a pen has been left intact.” 

She contended the victim’s family was not originally keen on bringing the body to the school. “Some vested interests hired goons who were paid as little as Rs 60 to destroy the school,” said Aruna. 

Established two years ago, the school is run by Gomathi Education Trust and has been built on six acres of land taken on lease. It runs kindergarten to class V. At present, only nine students are enrolled, said a member of the family which leased the land to it.

Sampigehalli police are looking out for those who indulged in vandalism. 

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