New Delhi: Amid growing outrage over the death of a six year old boy at a private school, the Delhi government on Sunday ordered all schools to file “safety report” within a month, saying arrogant and insensitive behaviour will not be tolarated.
Divyansh Kakrora, a student of class 1, was found dead in a water reservoir of Ryan international school in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area on Saturday.
Police probing the case on Sunday continued to question the school authorities, including the principal Sandhya Sabu. An FIR was registered on Saturday at Vasant Kunj North Police Station under Section 304 (A) of IPC against unknown persons for causing death due to negligence.
As the school authorities came under severe criticism from several quarters, the Delhi government held a meeting on Sunday where issues related to safety aspects in schools were deliberated upon in detail.
In the meeting, presided over by deputy CM Manish Sisodia, it was decided to order all schools to file a report to the government within one month about safety aspects at their premises. The government also decided to form a task force to verify the arrangements in the schools, officials said.
The Delhi government had on Saturday ordered a magisterial inquiry into Divyansh’s death.
Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, said arrogant and insensitive behaviour of the schools on matters relating to safety of the children will not be tolerated at all.
“We have asked principals of each school, be it government, MCD or private, to carry out a prima facie inspection and give us a report. As soon as we get the report, we will carry out an inspection based on their report.
“I will get all 3500 schools inspected in next one month through SDMs, fire department, PWD, DJB, education department and MCD,” Sisodia said.
He said that safety and security of children is a serious matter and he himself will carry out random inspection of the schools.
The Deputy CM also said the boy’s death had “shattered” everyone and that a team of government personnel will carry out inspection for an hour in each of the school buildings to ensure there is no repeat of the incident.
Police said they are looking into all angles and have not ruled out foul play at this point. The investigators said that they have questioned school principal Sabu and some other staff.
Ramhit Meena, the distraught father of Divyansh, blamed the school authorities for the child’s death.
“It is conspiracy by the school authorities and someone in the staff must be involved in the incident. I received a call from the school and I rushed to emergency ward at the hospital, where I found the principal at the entrance.
“I kept asking everyone about what had happened but nobody responded. Then the principal took me to the doctor, who informed me that my son was brought dead at the hospital,” he said.
Meena, who is a paramedic at AIIMS, further said, “When I sought answers from the principal, she asked me to stay put, claiming that it is for our own good. When I insisted, I was yelled at.”
However, the pricipal of the school refuted the allegation and claimed that Divyansh was a special child, who was “hyperactive” and had a tendency of running away from classroom.
She, however, could not explain how the child fell into the water tank beneath the ampitheatre of the school.
Divyansh was last seen before the seventh period, which was around 12.20 PM. The authorities then started looking for him and after sometime he was found floating inside the pit which is used as a water storage tank. It is under the ampitheatre in the school’s playground. He was then rushed to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
“He was a special child, who was hyperactive and had tendency of running away from classroom. The moment the child did not report to the teacher, she informed the coordinator.
“The entire school is geared up towards taking care of such children… And there were 20-odd minutes where the doctors even tried to reviving him and, meanwhile the coordinator called up the parents, which is the normal practice.
“The police is now investigating the case… I can absolutely understand what the parents must be going through this moment. But the allegations (against the school) are wrong,” she said.
In a letter to Sisodia, Vijwasan MLA Devinder Sehrawat said, “The parents of the students of the locality are very concerned after such an incident. I request the Delhi government to take strong action against the delinquency of the school authority. The licence of Ryan International should be cancelled.
“The swimming pool in the school that is being illegally run using DJB water should be immediately sealed. The officials, which may include personnel from DJB, should be strictly acted against.”
A number of parents of children studying in the school came out openly demanding action against the school. “The school authority must be punished,” said an angry parent.