Vandalism was carried out in presence of police: Principal

Last Updated 18 September 2013, 11:00 IST

Two days after she was granted bail by a court, the principal of the Christ Church Girls' High School Helen Sarkar today alleged that the vandalism in her school was carried out in the presence of the police, which also forced her to resign under the prodding of the mob.

Sarkar also maintained that those who had indulged in vandalism in her school situated at Dum Dum after the death of a Class V student 11-year-old Oindrila Das were "not part of the school".

"I was forced to resign by the police, under the instructions of the mob. Police throughout the incident acted on the words of the mob. I had to give in to the police considering the safety of my teaching and non-teaching staff and hostel children who were scared," she told reporters here.

To a question, the principal said she had called in the police and requested them to give protection to the school, but instead vandalism took place in their presence.
She said that the students wanted her back in the school as the school managing committee had not accepted her resignation.

She said she wanted to visit the house of Oindrila who had died on September 11, a few days after allegedly being confined to a school toilet by her seniors.

"I will visit her house at an appropriate time. I had wanted to visit Oindrila's house on September 12, but the situation was such that we couldn't visit. The death is unfortunate. But what followed was vandalism which is unacceptable. It is very unfortunate that an educational institution had to face such thing," she told reporters here.

A mob, including parents of some of the students of the school, ransacked the over 100-year-old school on September 12.

Asked about the alleged ragging of Oindrila in the school, Sarkar said, "Till now, nothing has been proved that such thing (ragging) happened."

She dismissed reports the student may have committed suicide. "The student did not commit suicide," she said.

Asked if she would again join the school as principal, Sarkar said, "I think my students and guardians have said it. They have vocally said that they want me back. The rest is for the governing body to decide."

Asked when the school would reopen, the principal said that the school was in a bad shape following the ransacking and as such the governing body and the managing committee would decide on that.

Meanwhile, all Christian schools in the state are to be shut down tomorrow as announced by Archbishop Thomas D'Souza, head of the Roman Catholic Church of the Kolkata diocese and head of West Bengal Association of Christian Schools, two days ago.

The day would also be observed as a Black Day, despite Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's assurance that she would take necessary steps in connection with the case.

(Published 18 September 2013, 11:00 IST)

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