File ATR on students taken to rally: HC to edu dept

Around 40 students of the school were yesterday taken by the students` wing of SUCI (Communist), to a rally for protesting against pass-fail criteria.

Kolkata: Expressing displeasure at students being taken from a city school to a political rally without informing their parents, the Calcutta High Court, on Friday directed the West Bengal education department, to ensure that such incidents do not reoccur in future.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice Asim Kumar Roy, directed the principal secretary of the education department to file an Action Taken Report (ATR) within a week on steps taken in this regard.

It also directed the secretary to mention in the report about the steps initiated against a teacher, who allegedly threatened the students to go to the rally, the headmaster and the managing committee of Sahapur Mathuranath Bidyapith school.

Around 40 students of the school at New Alipore in the southern part of the city were yesterday taken by DSO, the students` wing of SUCI (Communist), to a rally held to protest against abolition of the pass-fail criteria up to Class VIII.

The students, studying in different classes from VI to X, were put on a mini truck parked in front of the school and taken to the rally in the central part of the city.

The parents of the students, who were not informed, ransacked the school premises on learning that a teacher had allegedly asked their wards to attend the rally.

Lawyer Tapas Kumar Bhanja, during the hearing of his PIL against corporal punishment meted out to students in schools, mentioned the incident before the bench.

He submitted that a teacher of the school had threatened the students of punishment, if they did not attend the rally, which, he said, had forced many of them to skip classes in order to go to the rally.

Meanwhile, another teacher of the school said, that it was not possible for the authorities to know, if some students were absent during the class hours and had left before the school began for the day.

"We have around 750 students and if around 35-40 of them from different classes remain absent on a day, it is not possible for us to know the reason unless intimated," he argued.


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