Bengal ragging death: Cops visit girl's home, two vandals get bail

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 17, 2013 12:50 hrs

Kolkata, Sep 17 (IANS) A police team Tuesday visited the home of the minor girl who died after being ragged by some school seniors, while two of those arrested for vandalising the institution in the aftermath of her death were released on bail.

Forensic officials examined the ransacked Christ Church School building in Dum Dum of West Bengal's North 24-Parganas district.

Oindrila Das, a Class 5 student, 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 as part of ragging.

"This is our preliminary visit. We inspected the vandalized premises. We examined the toilets. Some could be bolted from the outside while some had no such arrangements," said a forensic expert at the site.

"We have collected one sample. We will have an in-laboratory experiment," said the expert.

The police team recorded statements of Das's parents and grandfather regarding the circumstances leading to her death.

A day after her death, the 131-year-old school witnessed unprecedented scenes as hundreds of people - mostly guardians - ransacked the institution, holed up the principal and other teachers inside a dark room, and eventually forced principal Helen Sarkar to resign.

Hours later, she was arrested.

A court Monday granted bail to the school principal who was booked under several non-bailable charges following a police complaint by the dead girl's family.

Over a dozen people have been arrested so far for the vandalism, which has evoked criticism from political parties and Governor M.K. Narayanan.

Two of the arrested were released on bail Tuesday while Sarkar attended a meeting called by the school's governing body.

The meeting comes a day after the Calcutta Diocese of the Church of North India, which runs the school, announced that over 1,000 Christian-run schools will observe Sep 19 as a "black day" and remain shut, decrying the police "inaction" during the vandalism perpetrated by guardians and locals Sep 12.

The West Bengal Association of Christian Schools has set up an independent inquiry committee to look into "all the allegations and find out the truth".

The probe will decide when the school would reopen and whether Sarkar would be reinstated as the principal.

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