Student beaten to death, warden arrested

Shamim Malik, a 14-year-old student, who was beaten up by a hostel warden at a residential school at West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday, leading to the arrest of two persons.

The boy was reportedly “punished” for stepping out of school premises on Monday to meet his parents.

According to the police, Shamim was assaulted by hostel warden Hanif Sheikh when he went to meet his parents, Julhas Malik and Shamina Bibi, outside the school gate on Monday evening “without permission”. After he returned to his room, Hanif beat him severely to teach him a lesson. Later in the evening, he was taken to a hospital after he fell ill but he passed away.

The police arrested Hanif, along with Liton Sheikh, the school owner’s son, on Tuesday. Shamim joined the privately-owned Al-Islamia Mission at Murshidabad, around 200 km north of Kolkata, on January 22. He had gone home for the weekend and had returned on Monday to resume classes. “He came to meet me to collect some books and stationeries I purchased for him. We want justice for my boy,” said his mother, Shamina Bibi.

Julhas, the father, said that teachers tried to hush up the matter. “School authorities called us at 11 pm, only after his condition worsened, nearly two hours after Shamim was hospitalised,” he said. He added that even after they reached the hospital, teachers kept claiming Shamim had fallen ill in class. “When we reached, we found him dead. Doctors later told us he was beaten up mercilessly,” the father said.

Denying the allegations, school committee general secretary, Abul Kalam Azad told reporters: “The student might have had some disease. He suddenly fell ill and became unconscious on Monday evening. We immediately took him to hospital but unfortunately he could not be resuscitated. It’s a sad incident but no one had hurt him.” Julhas, however, said that a number of Shamim’s classmates reported to him about his son being beaten up and taken to the hospital only after he fell unconscious.

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