POST TIME: 7 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Suicide of VNSC student
Class teacher jailed
Students postpone protests
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

Class teacher jailed

Viqarunnisa Noon School and College students hold placards on the school’s Bailey Road campus in the capital yesterday during a protest which was postponed later. Independent Photo

A Dhaka court yesterday (Thursday) sent the class teacher of Aritree Adhikary, a ninth-grader of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, who had committed suicide, to jail after rejecting her bail application in connection with a case filed over the incident. Md Abu Sayeed, metropolitan magistrate, passed the order after police inspector Kamrul Hasan Talukdar produced her before his court with a prayer for confining her in jail.

Meanwhile, the agitating students postponed their protests over a six-point charter of demands. The announcement was made on behalf of the protesting students yesterday (Thursday). The announcement was made after a meeting with teachers and members of the governing body at 4pm.

A representative of the protesting students, Anushka Roy, said most of their demands have been accepted. However, the school authorities have not engaged with two of their demands. These are the matters of the ministry and the government and the matter of the investigation. The school authorities have nevertheless accepted the other four demands.

Another student said they will give the authorities time for that, adding they have suspended the movement.

“From tomorrow, we will take part in the exams,” he said. Earlier, the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested Hasna Hena, one of the three teachers of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, accused of provoking Aritree Adhikary to commit suicide.

Hasna Hena, who was the morning shift class teacher of Aritree’s section, was picked up from the capital’s Uttara area around 11pm on Wednesday. Assistant commissioner Atik of West Zone led the team that arrested Hasna Hena. Deputy commissioner Khandokar Nurunnabi of the DB commented on her detention. The police are also looking for two other accused, he added.

The two others accused in the case, filed by Aritree’s father Dilip Adhikary, are acting principal Nazneen Ferdous and morning shift in-charge Zinat Akhtar of the school.

Earlier, the case filed on Tuesday at Paltan police station was transferred to the DB for a thorough investigation on Tuesday evening.

The school authorities have already sacked acting principal Nazneen Ferdous, class teacher Hasna Hena and morning shift in-charge Zinat Akhtar after Aritree’s suicide sparked anger.

Meanwhile, head of the governing body of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College publicly apologised yesterday for the suicide of Aritree Adhikari.

“I express my condolences at the untimely death of one of our students. I apologise for it,” said Golam Asharaf Talukder, chairman of the school’s governing body.

A public apology was one of the demands raised by the students of Viqarunnisa.

Saying that most of the demands have been met, Talukder added, “We are not able to reach the secretary of the governing board. He is one of the accused in the case.”

“We will hand over his responsibility to another person and call for a meeting and take the rest of the decisions. If anyone from the governing body wants to resign now, they can. I will convey the message to the governing body members at our meeting,” he said.

About the postponement of the examinations, the governing body president said students would have to sit for their exams and the governing body would decide what to do if the students refuse.

He also urged those students who have been blocking the roads to go back to their classes.

The students have sought the resignations of the governing body members after the suicide of Aritree.

A representative team of the protesting students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College submitted a letter containing their six-point charter of demands to the education ministry yesterday (Thursday). The letter was received by the ministry.

The students of Viqarunnisa hit the streets for the third consecutive day to press their six demands that include stopping physical and mental torture in the school, putting an end to the threat of giving transfer certificates (TCs), arranging a specialist doctor for counselling the students and removing all the members of the school’s governing body.

On Wednesday, the education ministry also decided to cancel the teachers’ monthly pay orders (MPOs), announced education minister Nurul Islam Nahid while addressing a press briefing at his Secretariat office.