Akkriti’s autopsy report hints at asphyxiation; candlelight march held (Second Lead)

April 24th, 2009 - 11:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The autopsy report of Akkriti Bhatia, a Class 12 student of the elite Modern School in Vasant Vihar here, hinted that she died of asphyxiation stemming from an asthma attack, police said Friday. Her family and friends, meanwhile, took out a candlelight vigil, demanding the resignation of the school principal.
“The post-mortem examination report hints that Akkriti died of asphyxia. It seems to be a natural death but we are awaiting her viscera report and any conclusion can be reached only after going through this report,” a police officer told IANS.

Asphyxia is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises from being unable to breathe normally.

The officer hinted that they did not see any criminal negligence in the case and that the matter is under investigation.

Akkriti suffered an asthma attack in school Monday and died while being taken to hospital. Akkritis’s parents are holding the school authorities responsible for her death and are seeking principal Goldy Malhotra’s resignation. The school Friday put a notice on the gate saying it would be shut for two days.

Her parents, school friends and relatives held a brief candlelight march near her residence on Siri Fort Road, seeking justice for Akkriti.

Dressed in black T-shirts, around 100 people, mostly Modern School students, walked for a brief distance at 5 p.m., carrying placards that read “We want justice for Akkriti and punishment for Goldy Malhotra” and “Safe schools for children”.

They also carried a life-size portrait of Akkriti and wore a badge on their chest reading “Justice for Akkriti Bhatia. Today she needs our help - wake, look around and show your support”.

“We will get justice only after the arrest of principal Goldy Malhotra. She is a murderer,” said Akkriti’s father Vipin Bhatia, who said the family had not been informed about the autopsy report.

Said Arsh Singh, Akkriti’s schoolmate: “We have gathered here to bring justice to Akkriti. Our principal is responsible for her death and we want her to resign.”

Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury met Akkriti’s family Friday evening and spent over an hour at their home.

“We briefed her about the events. She has assured us of justice and said all necessary action will be taken,” Vipin Bhatia said.

“No action has been taken by the school. I will not back out …I will keep fighting till I get justice for my daughter. I have lost my daughter, I am not fighting for her life but only for justice for her death,” said an emotional Bani Bhatia, Akkriti’s mother.

“I am fighting for lives of other children so that tomorrow they don’t face such a situation. I can see my daughter’s face in every young boy and girl,” she added.

Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) also initiated an inquiry into the incident.

Akkriti’s family momentarily cheered at the news that the school principal had resigned late Friday. But principal Goldy Malhotra soon clarified that she had not stepped down.

“I haven’t resigned and why should I resign?” she asked while speaking to reporters.

A.P. Singh, trustee of the Modern School, also told IANS: “She (Malhotra) hasn’t resigned and continues to be principal of the school.”

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