National child rights body condemns torture, death of Delhi girl

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New Delhi, Apr.17 (ANI): The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Friday condemned the torture of 11-year-old Shanno Khan by her schoolteacher. Khan was in coma for over 24 hours, and died in hospital this afternoon.

"This is a sad and barbaric act," said Sandhya Bajaj, a member of the NCPCR. Bajaj said the commission is extremely concerned and worried about the increasing number of cases of students being tortured by teachers, but added that it could not move on cases like Shanno's unless it received a detailed inquiry from the concerned law enforcement and municipal authorities.

Union Minister for of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development, Renuka Chowdhury, said: "What a terrible price to pay for this kind of negligence. Why does a child have to die for some action to be taken."

She said that she has instructed officials of her ministry to maintain a greater vigilance on schools and other educational institutions accused of carrying out such practices.

Aarti Mehra, the Mayor of Delhi, said that she has ordered a vigilance inquiry into the incident and the sacking of the teacher responsible for the death of Shanno.

The child's parents have taken the child to the Maulana Azad Medical College for a post-mortem. The Delhi Police is yet to register a case against those involved. A report is being forwarded to Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely for further action.

The incident allegedly occurred on Thursday when Shanno, a student of the ND Primary School in Narela, North Delhi, failed to recite the English alphabet in class. Angered by this, the teacher allegedly hit Shanno's head against the table and made her stand in the sun for over two hours. Unable to stand the heat, Shanno fainted and was found unconscious by her younger sister, who studies in the same school.

The girl then informed their mother, Rihanna, who rushed Shanno to Maharshi Valmiki Hospital. Shanno's father, Ayub Khan, who works as a waiter in a catering company, was away in Haryana for work.

"Doctors at Maharshi Valmiki hospital told me that Shanno's condition was critical and she might not survive," said Khan.

The 11-year-old was subsequently shifted to the pediatric ICU of the Lok Nayak Hospital on Thursday afternoon.

"She was brought to our hospital in a critical condition. We have examined the child and her blood pressure is very low due to which she remains in a state of shock. Her pulse is very weak too. She is on a ventilator and we can comment on her condition only tomorrow," said Dr. A. P. Dubey, head of the department, pediatrics, Lok Nayak Hospital.

"The child was admitted in with severe seizure and her condition further deteriorated before she slipped into a coma. She was shifted to LNJP in critical condition," said Dr. K K Deuri, medical superintendent of Maharshi Valmiki hospital. MCD officials, however, denied that the girl was punished and said she suffered from frequent seizures.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Government and the Centre promised they would take strict action against those involved in the incident.

The Chairman of the MCD Education Committee Prithiviraj Sahni had earlier said, "The girl has been detained for shortage of attendance. She has been irregular with her classes because of fits. On Wednesday too, she had fits, following which her parents were informed."

Municipal Commissioner K. S. Mehra has asked the Director of Primary Education to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within three days.

The principal of the school has been identified as Dhanpati, while the teacher has been identified as Manju.

Police said they have confirmed that the child was punished at school. Atul Katiyar, DCP, (Outer), said: "We have confirmed from various sources that the child did face corporal punishment and investigations are on. We will file an FIR only after we receive the medical reports." (ANI)

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