Did harassment by teacher push student over the edge?
Deceased's relatives claim the teen told them about the constant humiliation he was made to face in class; allege lack of cooperation on part of police
Two days before his alleged suicide, 16-year-old Prasad Bagaria told his family about a teacher who would harass and shame him in front of his classmates at NM College, JVPD.
When relatives expressed the wish of filing a police complaint, Prasad dissuaded them. Cops say he jumped off the third floor of his college building on August 28. He died on the operating table at Nanavati hospital the same day.
The deceased’s family says he wasn’t the type to commit suicide. “Prasad had secured 92 per cent marks in his SSC exams and was good at studies. He never fought or argued with anyone,” said a relative.
“When I requested senior inspector Arun Bhagat from Juhu police station to register an FIR, he told me the matter wasn’t that serious,” said Rajnikant Bagaria, Prasad’s father. I met some former and present students of the same class and they told me that this female professor harassed others too, sometimes throwing around or tearing up their projects.”
He added, “My son was simple and never quarreled with anyone. He would not kill himself over nothing. Police must investigate if the harassment by the professor became too much for him and he jumped to his death.”
Time and again
The family maintains that the professor had scolded and humiliated Prasad on August 21 regarding an assignment, and continued to taunt and humiliate him on August 23-25, 27 and 28.
Meanwhile, Sunil Mantri, principal of NM College, said, “I was out of station and returned to the city today and will go to college on Tuesday. I’ll study the matter and will tell you the name of the professor if she’s involved.”
Senior inspector Arun Bhagat said, “I’ve heard that the Bagaria family has released a statement to the media blaming a professor for the incident, but haven’t read it so far. The case is at a primary stage of investigation and we can’t blame anyone without proof. The probe is going on and we are recording statements.”
He added, “The matter of the professor repeatedly harassing Prasad Bagaria is merely hearsay unless a student or an employee of the college comes forward to corroborate it. But we are taking the matter seriously.”
Vishwas Nangre-Patil, additional CP (west), said, “So far I’ve not received any statement released by the Bagaria family. An advocate informed me about it over the phone. We are investigating the case and taking necessary action.”
Unanswered questions raised by the father
# Why is the professor absent since the day Prasad committed suicide?
#Why hasn’t the college provided CCTV footage from cameras around the premises to the police?
#Why didn’t any college employee meet Prasad’s family or attend his funeral?
#Why haven’t police recorded statements of any of the professors?
#Sources have revealed that during a lecture by the professor recently, Prasad wrote her name on a piece of paper and then tore it up. Has this lead been investigated?