Body found floating in the well; institution closed pending enquiry
OMALUR (Salem): An angry crowd ransacked a government-aided Girls Matriculation Higher Secondary School and caused extensive damage to scores of vehicles following the death of a girl student under mysterious circumstances here on Saturday.
Tension gripped this town since 9 a.m. when the decomposed body of S. Sukanya, a Plus Two student of the Fatima Girls Matriculation Higher Secondary School, run by a congregation of sisters, was found floating in a well on the school campus. The student who was staying in the school hostel was said to be missing since Thursday.
Holding the school administration responsible for her death, the relatives and friends of the girl's parents, who came from Tholur in Dharmapuri district and parents of other students, started gathering in front of the school. Joined by the public, the crowd swelled and turned restive. After breaking open the front gates, it stormed the campus and targeted the property. Furniture, scientific equipment, computers, two school vans, a motorcycle and an autorickshaw were totally damaged. Almost all classrooms bore the brunt of its fury. The crowd set ablaze the record room and a few classrooms where students' record books and other study materials were stored. Uniform dress material and belongings of many children staying in an orphanage, also ran by the congregation on school premises, too were destroyed.
Teachers, girls detained
The crowd detained a few teachers and 89 hostel girls in a room for nearly two hours till a police team, led by Salem SP N. Bhaskaran, came and rescued them after using force to chase it away.
Traffic on Salem-Bangalore National Highways was disrupted for three hours following the road blockade. Windowpanes of many passing vehicles were damaged in stone throwing.
District Revenue Officer M. Rajarathinam held talks with the parents and the public and ordered the closure of the school pending enquiry. Omalur Police registered a case under section 174 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for the girl's death.