2 Virar school teachers held for 'abetting schoolboys' suicide'
After three schoolchildren went missing and were later found dead in a drain behind their residential school, police have arrested their two teachers in connection with the case on Wednesday.
Meet Chadwa, Kushal Dagha and Prahul Patel all studied in Std IX of the school
Primary post-mortem reports indicated that the students had been beaten up and had the same injury marks on their bodies. Police believe it to be a case of suicide after failing their exams.
The two accused were identified Ripushivam Garg, the Sanskrit teacher and Sandip Palwa, the Physical Training (PT) teacher at Vagad Gurukul International School in Sakar village, Virar.
The Sanskrit and PT teachers of Vagad Gurukul International School in Virar have been arrested
Mandvi police in Virar said the three students Meet Suresh Chadwa, a resident of Malad, Kushal Nilesh Dagha, a Dombivli resident, and Prahul Narayan Patel, a resident of Malad had failed in their Sanskrit exams. All three were 14 years old and studied in Std IX, and stayed in the school hostel.
According to police officials, “On August 25 (Monday), the Sanskrit teacher conducted exams in the school and decided that whosoever failed would be punished by being caned 10 times with a stick. Around 6 students had failed, including these three.”
On the same day, the trio went missing after 8 pm, from the school premises. Cops suspected that the students may have committed suicide after the failure and the beating. They also said two teachers had allegedly seen them running out of the compound from the back gate. On Wednesday, their bodies were found in a drain 15 metres behind the school. All bodies were sent for a post-mortem at JJ Hospital, and later, were given to their parents for funerals.
Senior inspector B Mane said, “We arrested the two schoolteachers Garg and Palwa for abetment of suicide. These teachers had beaten the students. We received statements from many students that Palwa used to beat students regularly. In the primary post-mortem report, we found same injuries on all three bodies, but the cause of death is still unknown. We are awaiting the complete report, which will come in two days.”
Police have also recovered CCTV footage from the school. Meanwhile, parents of all three children met at Dadar yesterday. They alleged that their children cannot have drowned. “The drain is only 1.5 foot deep.
It is impossible to drown there. We searched for our sons on Tuesday behind the drain, but found nothing. On Wednesday, their bodies mysteriously turned up there,” alleged one of the parents. Parents believe the teachers have killed the children and are making it look like suicide.
The accused have been booked under sections 305 (abetment of suicide of child), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Amrut Gada, managing trustee of the school, said, “These students were mischievous. It was their plan to escape from the school. We are not responsible for this.”