Virar students drowning case: Four years later, families still await justice
Three students from Virar were found dead in a river behind their school on August 27, 2014, after alleged thrashing by teachers
More than four years after three students of Virar's Vagad Gurukul International School drowned in the Sukh river behind the school premises, parents of the victims are still waiting for justice. Frustrated family members on Tuesday thus staged a protest at Azad Maidan demanding that a fresh investigation be carried out by the CBI in the case.
The protesting members have also begun a hunger strike. "For the last four years, we have been fighting to get justice for our innocent children. Those responsible for our children's deaths are not being punished," said Suresh Chhadwa, one of the three boys' father.
Jinal Dagha, sister of another victim, alleged that the Virar police had purposely left out the management trustees from the inquiry. "If three students managed to escape from the school undetected, isn't it a failure on the part of the school management? The accused teachers have been out on bail and no one is punished," she said.
Three 14-year-old students studying in Std IX, Meet Chhadwa, Prahul Patel and Kushal Dagha were found dead in the river behind their school on August 27, 2014, two days after the three were reported missing. Three teachers and an accountant were arrested for beating the three victims among other students in the school for their low grades. All four were granted bail in two cases pending at the Judicial Magistrate Court in Vasai.
Alleging gross shortcomings in the investigation by the Virar police, the parents of the victims had demanded a CBI probe in the matter. In May 2017, the parents had approached the Bombay High Court and filed public interest litigation (PIL) but the matter came up for hearing only on January 16, 2019, the parents' advocate, Kishore Redekar, said.
"We have raised complaints against JJ Hospital for not collecting DNA specimen in an adequate manner due to which no analysis could be done to determine whether the victims were subjected to sexual abuse," said Redekar. The police are to submit their reports on the next hearing day, February 18.
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