The assault on Class XII student Deepak Kumar on Sunday has raised a few questions regarding the security arrangements in residential schools.
Deepak, a science student of Navodaya Vidyalaya in Sheikhpura, around 100km southeast of Patna, was allegedly taken away from the school campus. According to the 19-year-old, he was badly beaten up in a building near the school by a few residents. They allegedly threw hot water on his face too.
On Tuesday, Deepak narrated the incidents that led to such a gruesome assault. "At 4am on Sunday, I went out of the hostel to get some medicine because my hand was writhing in pain. I was near the school gate waiting for the medical store in front of the institute to open. Suddenly, five people came and took me to a building nearby," Deepak said.
He added: "I was beaten up inside the building. The persons asked me to admit that I had committed a theft. When I refused, a woman in the house said that my hands should be put in hot water. When I jostled with them, hot water was poured on me. The attackers even threatened to beat up other students of the school."
Deepak's younger brother Raushan Kumar, who studies in the same school and class, said: "There are two night guards deployed at the school. However, they usually don't stay near the gate. They make rounds of the entire school till 1am and then retire to a cabin near the gate."
However, denying all lapses on the school's part, Sheikhpura district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Singh, who is also the chairman of the institute, said: "Guards are deployed at the school gate and security arrangements are in place. The teenager must have scaled the boundary wall of the school without informing anybody. The boy received the burn injuries in his hands after he came in contact with 11,000-volt cables near the building."
On the security issue, school principal K. Kanhaiyan said: "We have security arrangements in place. At 1.30am on Sunday, the vice-principal had carried out a vigil to check whether all boarders were in the hostel or not. At that time everyone was in the hostel."