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Probe ordered into death of student

Principal of Modern School, Vasant Vihar, Goldie Malhotra (holding the mike) addresses the media on Akruti Bhatia’s death while the victim’s mother, Vani Bhatia, protests, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Principal of Modern School, Vasant Vihar, Goldie Malhotra (holding the mike) addresses the media on Akruti Bhatia’s death while the victim’s mother, Vani Bhatia, protests, in New Delhi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: V. Sudershan

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday ordered a probe into the death of a school girl after an asthma attack, following allegations of “negligence” on the part of the school authorities.

The authorities of Modern School, Vasant Vihar, also ordered an internal inquiry into the death of 17-year-old Akruti Bhatia, who died on way to a hospital on Monday.

Parents and students gheraoed Principal Goldie Malhotra and shouted slogans blaming her for the death of the girl.

The school authorities held a press conference on Thursday to clarify their stand, but students and agitating teachers disrupted it.

“She [Goldie Malhotra] killed my friend,” said an angry student who was Akruti’s friend. “Does she have any answer why the oxygen mask was removed from Akruti when she was battling for life? Does she have any answer as to why an ambulance could not be arranged for Akruti?”

Akruti’s father Bipin Bhatia demanded immediate removal of the Principal. “The Principal, who does not realise when the student needs treatment, has no right to become a teacher or a Principal.”

Lovlin Therani, a former member of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, said Ms. Malhotra should have herself taken the girl to the hospital in her car.

“Instead of taking Akruti in her own car, she waited 45 minutes till the girl’s family sent their car. Is this her sensitivity towards children’s health,” she asked.

Ms. Malhotra, however, claimed that the school authorities took appropriate action. She said the girl suddenly became unwell while in school. She informed her mother about her illness and asked her for a car. “But as her condition deteriorated, we thought it would not be proper to send her home. We provided first aid and oxygen and then took her to the hospital in the car sent by her mother,” the Principal said.

On the way to the hospital, the girl spoke to her mother over the phone and told her about her condition. “The parents should not have sent her to school at all,” Ms. Malhotra said.— PTI

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