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Narayana School boy dies after fall from classroom

Two boys pushed each other casually and lost balance

By Our Correspondent in Siliguri

  • Published 9.07.19, 4:59 AM
  • Updated 9.07.19, 4:59 AM
Narayana School in Siliguri
Narayana School in Siliguri Picture by Passang Yolmo

A Class IX student died and his friend suffered serious injuries when they fell from the second floor of Narayana School through an open window of their classroom at Jatiakhali here on Monday afternoon.

Preliminary probe suggests that the two boys pushed each other casually and lost balance. Rishabh Arya, the deceased boy, hailed from Purnia in Bihar. The iron grills of the window had loosened and were removed on Sunday by the staff. It had a wide opening with only sliding glasses.

The incident has triggered questions over the safety of students at the school. Although no complaint was lodged, New Jalpaiguri police have started an unnatural death case.

“The grills of the window in the classroom had loosened. That is why they were removed for replacement. I had no information that the bars had been removed,” said T. Rajni Prasad, the principal.

The open window (circled) through which the boys fell.
The open window (circled) through which the boys fell. Picture by Passang Yolmo

The co-educational secondary school is affiliated to the CBSE and has around 400 students.

Sources said the class was about to resume after lunch when Rishabh and Rittick Kumar Singh moved close to the window, where the slide was open. Their class is on the second floor of the school.

“We are yet to know how they fell though the gap. But preliminary information suggests they have casually pushed each other near the window and both lost control. As they fell, a glass slide was also damaged,” said a police source.

The police learnt that Rishabh had fallen first. Rittick fell when he tried to save Rishabh.

As the two boys hit the ground, other students and teachers rushed out. Both suffered serious injuries and were rushed to a private hospital around 2km away.

“We took them to the private hospital immediately but unfortunately, we lost Rishabh. Rittick is under treatment. Most of the students and the teachers are yet to recover from the shock. His parents have been informed,” said a teacher.

Rittick, sources said, has ended with a fractured left hand and has suffered injuries to the right hand and waist.

Rittick is a day scholar and stays with his parents at the CRPF quarters, on the outskirts of Siliguri.

“We have nothing to say. Our dreams have shattered as Rishabh had plans to go for higher studies in Delhi,” said Arun Kumar Bharati, his father and a lawyer in Purnia.

Gopal Kumar Singh, Rittick’s father, was also in shock. “It is surprising that such an incident has happened during school hours. The authorities should clarify,” he said.

The Guardians’ Forum of North Bengal said an explanation should be sought from the school.

“There were lapses on the part of the authorities or else, how could two students fall through a window during class hours. The administration should seek explanation from the school and set up a monitoring system to ensure the safety of students at schools in the Siliguri subdivision,” said Sandipan Bhattacharya, the president of the forum.

Bengal tourism minister Gautam Deb called on Rittick in the evening and spoke to the families of both the students.

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