Kolkata, Oct 6: The principal of a church-run school in West Bengal who was blamed and arrested for the death of a Class 5 student allegedly after being ragged, will resume her duty from Monday, a diocese official said.
“Helen Sircar would be resuming her duties as the principal of the school Monday. We have also decided to enhance the security of the school and hired more private security personnel,” said Abir Adhikari of the Calcutta diocese of the Church of North India (CNI) which runs the school in North 24-Parganas district.
Sircar, principal of the Christ Church School in Dum Dum in the district, was arrested Sep 12 night and subsequently remanded in police custody for three days following protests by parents who blamed her for the death of 10-year-old Oindrila Das. Sircar was later granted bail.
Oindrila died Sep 11, a week after she was allegedly locked up inside the school toilet by some of her seniors who demanded money from her.
Following the death, a mob comprising mostly parents and guardians vandalised the school and forced Sircar to publicly apologise for Oindrila’s death, as well as step down from the principal’s chair.
The Sep 12 vandalism led to the closure of the school for a fortnight before it was restored and reopened Sep 27.
An independent inquiry committee as well as a monitoring panel was instituted by the West Bengal Association of Christian Schools (WBACS) to look into all the allegations in the matter.
The West Bengal Human Rights Commission also expressed “serious concern” over the events and directed the state home secretary to order a probe.
Around 1,000 Christian schools in the state were shut Sep 19 to protest the ransacking and alleged police inaction during the vandalism.
A delegation of church officials also met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, seeking protection for minority-run institutions in the state.