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Vikash Sharma

Balasore: Call it sheer negligence on part of authorities as a student was locked inside the school premises for nearly an hour in Balasore. As per reports, the class-I student had gone to the toilet yesterday when the teachers and peon allegedly locked the school gate and left. As soon as the news spread, an inquiry was initiated and the headmistress was later suspended.

The shocking incident was reported from Mahabir Nodal School at Mathasahi. The matter came to light after some locals spotted the minor boy crying near the gate. The boy’s family blamed the school authorities for such negligence.

“The person, who locked the gate of the school, said that he is not appointed to look after the kids. My son had informed the teacher before he went to the toilet,” said the boy’s father.

What is more surprising is the fact that the school authorities claim that such incident is nothing new as they usually lock the students inside the school after their guardians fail to reach on time to pick their wards.

Headmistress of the school, Shanti Pratima Mohapatra, said, “At around 4 PM yesterday, the student went to toilet and as his father arrived late to pick him up, the peon locked the gate. As the school is located close to the road, we usually keep the students inside by locking the gate which is a regular affair.”

Mohapatra further stated that a private peon has been appointed to ensure that students are handed over to their respective guardians after they arrive.

Echoing similar views, President of the school, Sanatan Barik said “All the teachers were aware that the student was inside the school. As we cannot leave the student outside, the peon had locked the gate so that he does not move outside.”

Taking cognizance of the incident, School and Mass Education Department today directed the district education officer (DEO) to conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident.

“After I got information about the incident, we have asked a team headed by Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator (CRCC) to visit the spot and conduct an inquiry into incident. Appropriate action will be taken against those found guilty,” said DEO Pramod Sarangi.

Later, the headmistress of the concerned school was placed under suspension for negligence of government duties.

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