Thursday, May 31, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Thrashed Kasauli pupil dies at PGI
Ambika Sharma
Our Correspondent

Kasauli, May 30
Gloom descended on the town as news of school student Shobha Devi’s death at the PGI, Chandigarh, reached the town in this morning. The town was set to witness another unruly scene, but for timely action by the police which dispersed a sloganeering mob.

Police officials claimed that jaundice was the factor that had caused the girl’s death as indicated in the post-mortem report.

The Additional SP, Mr Sunder Lal, stated that the two women teachers who had received minor injuries yesterday, were examined at the Zonal Hospital, Solan. The PT instructor, Ms Shushila, had been referred to the IGMC, Shimla, for further treatment.

Major damage has been caused to the main office of the school where the two teachers were lodged by the police for safety. The miscreants not only entered the room by breaking open a window, but also smashed photo-frames and tore curtains. Nothing could be found in one piece. The mob had damaged the phone and electricity connections. Windows in all rooms had been smashed.

The NCC room suffered damage amounting to about Rs 1 lakh stated Subedar U.C. Devnag, who had come from Solan to assess the loss. The loss included important documents. The AVM room which had paintings and other study material had a similar story to tell. One could see things strewn all around.

The in charge, Mr Bhalla, stated that the mob threw an almirah into the valley. The staff visibly shaken, stated that they had never witnessed such a violent expression of anger by students. The entire staff stood huddled in a corner for fear of being manhandled as the mob went berserk and took to rampant destruction, they said. Pieces of torn cloth as well as hair could be seen in a corner.

Doors and windows of several rooms were also found broken.

A motto on one of the walls: “Come to learn, go to serve,” seemed to have lost meaning.

The Joint Director, Education, visited the school today to assess the loss.

The Parent-Teacher Association today demanded action against the PTI who they alleged had often indulged in giving severe thrashing to students. They said the principal had not initiated action against the PTI even though the parents had voiced their protest against the alleged beating up of Shobha Devi. They were sore at her “lukewarm” response.

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