Kerala

Sherin’s death: Wayanad police considering charges against teachers

Fatal hole: Shehala Sherin was bitten by a snake after her leg was caught in a crack in the classroom floor.

Fatal hole: Shehala Sherin was bitten by a snake after her leg was caught in a crack in the classroom floor.  

more-in

Officials said that Sherin's parents, both lawyers, were unwilling to press charges.

The Kerala police are weighing whether to slap charges of death caused due to neglectfulness against school authorities. The school authorities are suspected to be "vicariously responsible" for the "snake bite" that caused the death of a Class V student Shehala Sherin (10) in Wayanad on Wednesday.

Officials said that Sherin's parents, both lawyers, were unwilling to press charges. However, a galaxy of organisations has petitioned the police to investigate the school authorities for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304(A) of the Indian Penal Code.

 

Moreover, the police have not conducted any inquest or post-mortem examination of the body. The child was interred at Puthenkummu Juma Masjid on Thursday. The police only possess a doctor's certificate, which stated that the child had died due to snake-bite poisoning.

Sherin’s death: Wayanad police considering charges against teachers
 

The student, who had sustained a poisonous snake bite in the classroom, had died about four hours later at a private clinic after her father shuttled her to and fro between local hospitals in vain for anti-venom medication.

The ensuing public outcry had triggered violent street protests in Wayanad on Friday. It had also prompted the Kerala High Court to take the unusual step of dispatching the District Judge, Wayanad, A. Harris, to investigate the matter that had sparked off social outrage.

The judge visited the Sultan Battery Government Sarva Jana Vocational Secondary School and the hospitals where the child was treated. He is scheduled to report to the HC soon.

Cyclical news reports that portrayed the school as a snake-infested campus with dilapidated classrooms, dirty toilets and unconcerned teachers did not augur well for the public image of the government.

They also raised questions about the government's flagship education programme that harp on about having converted State-run schools into modern wifi campuses with smart classrooms and committed teachers.

The State police are likely to seek legal opinion in the matter. They were also awaiting the report of the district judge. A senior official said the HC might set the direction and framework for a possible probe.

The police said the doctors who treated the child would come under the ambit of the probe if they decide to register a case. They would also have to take the statements of students and teachers to fix responsibility.

The Kerala State Human Rights Commission has registered a case on its own and issued notices to the revenue-, school- and medical authorities in Wayanad district seeking detailed reports.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 10:47:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sherins-death-wayanad-police-considering-charges-against-teachers/article30051710.ece

Next Story