A female teacher from New Horizons Public School in Panvel has been arrested and charged with abetment to suicide, a day after a 12-year-old boy died following a fall from the fourth floor of the school building. While the teacher has been sent in police custody till Friday, the school announced that it will remain closed till March 1 and has asked students to directly turn up for their final exams.
Gaurav Kank, a class VI student, purportedly jumped out of the window of his classroom on Tuesday morning, after he was allegedly slapped by his teacher, Sowmiya Manoharan. The 25-year-old teacher was questioned till late on Tuesday and subsequently arrested for the non-bailable charge of abetment to suicide. In addition, the Khandeshwar police had also registered a case of negligence against the school.
The boy’s family members hold the school entirely responsible for his death. “Gaurav would always tell us about everything that happened at school. He was not one to jump out simply because a teacher slapped him. There must be more to it,” said his father Dattaram Kank, who also raised suspicions about the very little blood loss his son’s body had shown.
The family is planning to take action against the school for negligence of not installing grille on the windows, and will be removing Gaurav’s younger brother, Rohan, a class V student, from the school.
Kank’s postmortem report from the State Government Rural Hospital in Panvel stated the cause of death to be from hemorrhagic shock due to fracture in the bilateral rib cage, leading to accumulation of blood in the chest. “The body had blood accumulation in the chest cavity due to which his lungs were compressed and eventually collapsed. There were also lacerations on the nose,” said BS Lohare, medical superintendent at the rural hospital. Lohare added that the internal bleeding could have been caused because the boy had fallen on the ground instead of concrete.
DCP Sanjay Yenpure said, “We have recorded the statements of five students as witnesses and are investigating into the matter.” The school authorities remained unavailable for comment.