Caning issue: HRD panel to visit La Martinere
Kolkata: A two-member committee appointed
by the HRD ministry will visit La Martinere School for Boys
next week on a fact-finding mission following the controversy
over the caning of a student by the principal, an act which is
being blamed for the 13-year-old's suicide.
"(HRD Minister) Kapil Sibal has asked me to submit a
report about the matter. I will visit La Martinere next week.
Another person will accompany me on my visit," Ramesh
Bhattacharjee, who is heading the panel, told reporters.
Bhattacharjee, a member of the ministry's Department
of Secondary and Higher Education, said the commission will
talk to the school authorities and also Rouvanjit Rawla's
parents and try to find out what led the class VIII student to
end his life.
"We will also try to find out whether the school
authorities are complying with the various norms set by the
HRD ministry for governance of minority-run institutions," he
Bhattacharjee, under whose jurisdiction schools in the
eastern and northeastern states falls, said that taking
advantage of the West Bengal's government decision to do away
with English at the primary level in state-run schools, a
large number of reputed Christian schools were fleecing
guardians of huge sums of money through various fees and
Bhattacharjee said that owing to extreme financial
demands, middle and lower middle-class students, including a
large section of Christians, do not have access to reputed
schools run by various church denominations.
Chairman of the All-India Minority and Weaker Sections
Council Antony Arun Biswas demanded suspension of La Martinere
School for Boys principal Sunirmal Chakravarthy till the
conclusion of the inquiry into the Rouvanjit's suicide.
Accusing the authorities of most Christian-run schools
in West Bengal of being autocratic, Biswas demanded suitable
amendments in Article 30 of the Constitution to ensure more
government control over the institutions.
He also urged the West Bengal government to revive the
posts of Inspector of Anglo-Indian schools, pointing out that
the post existed earlier.