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U'khand Child Rights Panel Fears 'Another Nithari' After 2 Boys Die Within Months at Boarding School

The state commission for protection of child rights has demanded a CBI inquiry, asking why there is a graveyard within the premises of the boarding school near Rishikesh.

Anupam Trivedi | News18

Updated:September 24, 2019, 11:48 PM IST
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U'khand Child Rights Panel Fears 'Another Nithari' After 2 Boys Die Within Months at Boarding School
(Representative Image)

Dehradun: A 12-year-old boy has died under “mysterious circumstances” at The Children’s Home boarding school in Uttarakhand. What adds to the mystery is the fact that a boy of the same age was allegedly beaten to death at the same school in March and the body was buried at a graveyard within the premises purportedly to hush up the matter.

“Why does a school need a graveyard? The school has failed to give a satisfactory reply,” Usha Negi, chairperson of the Uttarakhand Commission for Protection of Child Rights, told News18.

The panel on Tuesday demanded a CBI inquiry, three days after a boy died at the school near Rishikesh. The chairperson of the commission said it seemed like “another Nithari”.

She was referring to the gruesome cases that surfaced in 2006, when police discovered the skulls and bones of more than 15 people, mostly children, near a house in Nithari locality of Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It was the home of wealthy businessman Moninder Singh Pandher, who lived there with his servant Surinder Koli. Both were arrested. In a chilling confession before a magistrate, Koli admitted to killing, and in some cases cooking and eating body parts of the victims. In 2017, both were awarded the death sentence in one of the cases.

The management at The Children’s Home had handed over the boy’s body, without an autopsy, to his parents who arrived there from Punjab.

The incident came months after another student was allegedly beaten to death by seniors at the school and his body was buried in the graveyard inside. Three students and two staff members were arrested and the CBSE recognition of the school was withdrawn. However, later the state education department accorded temporary affiliation to the school, considering the future of the students.

Negi also lambasted the Uttarakhand school education department. “The child rights body demands a CBI inquiry as we feel the school is nothing but another Nithari,” she added.

The education department has rejected the charge. Secretary (education) Meenakshi Sundaram said, “It is not correct to term an accidental death another Nithari. Let authorities first probe the incident.”

The Children’s Home is meant for kids of leprosy patients and the school is supported by a Christian education society. Despite the controversy, the school management has so far refused to speak to the media. The police have not registered a report, saying they are yet to receive a formal complaint.

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