Demise at school: Lecturers in jail, 1,570 college students skip exams, search their launch

GURUGRAM: Nearly 1,570 students of Mewat Model School, Nuh, from classes II to XI walked out of the exam hall on Monday to protest against the arrest of three of their teachers, more than two months after a Class XII Arts student was found hanging in her hostel room. The students have threatened not to sit for their final till the teachers are released from jail.
At around 4pm on December 19, was found hanging in her hostel room. Her family lodged an FIR the same day, refusing to accept it as a case of suicide. Three teachers who were residing on the school campus, Mahabir Singh, Archana Saraswat and Shah Alam, were arrested under Section 306 ( of suicide) of IPC on March 1. According to the family, the arrests were delayed as no one was listening to them because they are poor.

Mahabir Singh is a sports teacher who has served in different Mewat model schools for nearly 30 years. Archana Saraswat retired as a teacher in 2009 but was working at the school on contract for the past nine years. She was also serving as the hostel warden. Shah Alam was a junior faculty in geography as well as Renu’s class teacher.

Afsana, a Class XII student, said, “We will not give our exams till our teachers are released. On March 22, a bail application was placed. If the teachers don’t get bail, we will go on an indefinite hunger strike.”

According to the school, the girl was admitted in the school in July 2016 despite her poor performance in the Class X Haryana Board exams and the entrance test.

The school alleged that Renu’s father Rohtash had requested them to provide hostel facilities to the girl for her own safety.

The hostel warden, Archana Saraswat, had repeatedly warned her against bunking classes, friendships with boys and irregular attendance, said the school, adding that she was even rusticated from the hostel for two months and admitted again on parental request.

One of the teachers said, “On the day of the incident, the girl had bunked class and was found sitting with a cellphone which was given to her by a boy. In the entire episode, that boy has escaped without a scratch while the teachers are being blamed for everything.”

The district administration conducted an enquiry into the death. According to its report, Renu was mad about a boy called Mustkeem. On the day of the incident, the girl was caught with a mobile phone by her teacher, Shah Alam. The hostel warden allegedly slapped her on finding out about the mobile phone. Before the incident, the girl told her roommate Neha that her father had threatened to marry her off to someone she did not know.

The girl’s father, Rohtash, said, “We got a call from Nafis, an official of the school, saying that Renu is sick and has been admitted in the emergency ward of Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati (SHKM) government medical college in Nuh. When I saw my daughter, she was not responding and the doctor said she had been brought dead. I feel that she was murdered. I was coerced by the school authorities to take the body home without a post-mortem and to not approach the police.”

According to the post-mortem and Palwal forensic science laboratory reports, the cause of death was hanging.

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