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Bengal school violence orchestrated by outsiders

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee. (File Photo: IANS)

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday claimed the violence that took place in a North Dinajpur district school over the recruitment of new teachers last week was not orchestrated by students, but by outsiders.

The Minister, who had previously blamed the BJP and RSS for the unrest in which two youths were allegedly killed, however, refused to pinpoint any one as guilty, stating probe was on.

“I think the students did not create the ruckus in the school. It must be the work of the outsiders. If the students were agitating on the demand for new teachers in school why would they cause such damage to the school’s property?” Chatterjee said after a meeting here with the District Inspectors (DI) of schools.

“Some people carrying a certain flag orchestrated the violence from behind keeping the students in front. Since the investigation is on, we will not accuse anyone. Be it the headmaster or the managing committee of the school, no one is above scrutiny. Not even the police,” he said.

A massive clash broke out between a mob and police outside Darivit High School in North Dinajpur district’s Islampur area last week over the recruitment of two new teachers of Urdu and Sanskrit languages in the school while the students had been demanding teachers in literature and science subjects.

The new teachers were stopped from entering the school on Thursday afternoon by the agitating students, who later blocked the road and clashed with police when they arrived on the spot.

Villagers claimed the youths, both former students of the school, were killed in police firing, whereas the police maintained no bullets were fired by them and claimed that miscreants armed with guns, bombs and sticks attacked them outside the school.

Referring to the meeting with the DIs, Chatterjee said they have been instructed to submit detailed report regarding the infrastructure of the schools under their purview along with the number of male and female students, teachers as well as the requirement for additional teachers in those schools.

He said all 22 sanctioned posts for teachers including five para-teachers in that school were filled up as per the district education department report.

“I have seen in the preliminary investigation that all the sanctioned posts for teachers in that school were filled. So either there is an error in the report or the students were demanding additional teachers, which is within their rights,” he said.

Terming the incident of violence as barbaric and pathetic, Chatterjee reiterated that no one will be spared if found guilty.

“The Chief Minister has asked me to strongly handle the situation and take strict action against those found guilty. No one will be spared. We have asked the DIs to do their job with courage,” he added.

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