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25 May 2018

Teachers 'identified' in SDO assault case

The two arrested teachers outside the court in Raiganj on Thursday. Picture by Kousik Sen
KOUSIK SEN, TT,  May 25, 2018 , Raiganj: The North Dinajpur district inspector of schools (secondary) has identified 62 schoolteachers for being allegedly involved in the assault and humiliation of the Raiganj subdivisional officer during a protest and road blockade here on May 16.

On May 16, a group of government employees, mostly schoolteachers, was demonstrating in protest against the death of Raj Kumar Roy, a schoolteacher who had gone missing. Roy was the presiding officer at a booth for the rural polls and was later found dead. T.N. Sherpa, the SDO, reached the spot to talk to the demonstrators.

A section of them got agitated and attacked Sherpa. After the incident, the official filed a complaint with the police.

Police started an investigation and identified 77 people for their alleged involvement in the incident by watching the video footage.

"The administration had sent basic details of these persons to me. We matched our records and found that among them, 62 are schoolteachers. We have sent all necessary details about the teachers to the administration," said Rabindranath Mondal, DI (secondary), on Thursday.

So far, the police have arrested two schoolteachers in connection with the case. "The managing committee of the schools where these two teachers serve will take necessary decision on them," added Mondal.

Police sources said all the 62 teachers would be included as accused in the case. Searches are on to nab them.

"Two persons have been arrested and the number of accused can increase as the investigation is still in progress," said Ayesha Rani A, the DM of North Dinajpur.

Meanwhile, Manoj Bhowmik and Pradip Sinha, the two arrested teachers, were produced in the chief judicial magistrate's court here on Thursday after four days of police custody. The court heard the case and ordered four days' judicial custody to them.

The schoolteachers, who are into protests and have also formed an apolitical forum, said they would continue their movement. "We want the administration to reveal the truth behind the death of Raj Kumar Roy and release of both the teachers. Our movement will continue," said a representative of the forum.

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