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School assault case: Accused claims victim fell on tin sheet and cut himself

The 15-year-old boy, who has been sent to the Dongri observation home, denied having slashed his schoolmate, 16-year-old Nishant Shukla, with a blade, claiming instead that he pushed the boy, which caused him the injuries

“I did not attack him with a blade. I pushed him and he fell on a tin sheet.” This was the version of events given by the 15-year-old boy to officials at the Dongri observation home, where he was sent after allegedly attacking his school senior with a blade on Monday morning.

The juvenile accused was produced in the Sewri Metropolitan Magistrate Court yesterday, in the absence of the regular juvenile justice board that usually meets the accused inside the observation home itself.

In his statement to officials at the observation home, the teenager said he wanted to be reunited with his mother, and denied having assaulted anyone with a blade.

The boy lives with his mother and younger brother in a chawl in Malad. The boy’s parents are separated. His mother does odd jobs to make ends meet. Two months ago, his mother fell from the mezzanine floor in their house and developed some problems with her vision.

To support her, the boy had taken to working at a relative’s garage near his house. He would be paid R50 every day, a sum he handed over to his mother for the upkeep of the household.

The boy is now sharing the home’s common cell with 47 other juveniles, who have been booked for offences like murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery. The cell is guarded round the clock by police personnel.

An official at the home told mid-day: “The boy has not been presented before the regular juvenile justice board. He will be produced before the board when it convenes. We are treating him like any
other accused.”

A senior police officer said, “The accused has given us a similar statement, claiming that he did not attack the victim with a blade. The complainant, however, had stated that a blade was used by the accused, and we have taken the same into consideration. We are investigating the matter from all possible angles.”

Senior Police Inspector Subhash Dafle of Dindoshi said, “We could not question the accused for long as he is a juvenile. We had to send him to the observation home as per the rule, and so do not know much about his background.”

Dafle debunked the boy’s version of events, saying, “I have been to the spot and there was no tin sheet anywhere around. We have recovered the shaving blade from the pocket of the accused. Also, there are other students and teachers who have witnessed the whole incident.”

Dr G K Khomne, consultant surgeon who is treating the victim at a private nursing home in Malad, said that the wound was a muscle-deep incision, inflicted by a sharp object. However, he did not specify the nature of the object.

He said, “The cut was around 15 cm in length. We had to administer three layers of stitches to stop the bleeding, but the patient is doing well. I have given my detailed notes to the police.” Meanwhile, a decision on when to discharge the victim will be taken by the treating surgeon after the wound is examined tomorrow.

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