Koppula Aruna, a poor agricultural worker from Chityala village in Gopalapuram mandal, makes a fervent plea to the authorities concerned to unravel the mystery behind the death of her nine-year-old son.

The boy, Bhaskaralakshminarayana, reportedly suffered burns in a fire at the Residential Special Training Centre (RSTC) of the Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM) at Komatikunta in the same mandal and died recently two months after treatment in Rajahmundry and Kakinada government hospitals.

Ms. Aruna along with her husband Raghavendra Rao came to the city to voice their concern at the Prajavani programme at the Collectorate here on Monday.

Later, she submitted a petition to Superintendent of Police C. Ravi Varma. Aruna also moved the National Child Rights Commission and National Human Rights Commission.

Although the RSTCs are meant to help out-of-the- school children get into the formal school education stream, Bhaskar Lakshminarayana, a class IV student in the primary school at Chityala village, was reportedly taken to the special training centre at Komatikunta.

‘Foul play'

Even as the authorities of the RVM said the fire at the centre was a sheer accident, Ms. Aruna contradicted the official version and suspected a foul play.

She said the statement recorded by Santosh Kumari, an advocate and child rights activist, from the victim in the Kakinada hospital fuels such suspicion. The victim in the statement reportedly said that he could see some unknown miscreants running away after they sprinkled kerosene and lit it in the dead of night. Ms. Aruna and her husband suspected that disputes between the organisers of the centre and a rival group in the village resulted in the fire.

Compensation sought

“With the death of my only son, I have become childless now,” said a sobbing Aruna. “There is not even a remote possibility of bearing children in future since I got my uterus removed due to health regions,” she added.

The couple spent more than Rs. 1.5 lakh on medical expenses for the treatment of their son.

“I sold away my mother's mangala sutra, jewellery from sisters-in-law and borrowed money from different sources to meet the treatment cost,” Mr. Raghavendra Rao said while seeking compensation. Ms. Aruna regretted that none from the training centre had even paid a visit to console them.

None from the training centre had even paid a visit to console us, she alleged