Five days on, little progress in probing schoolgirl’s death

April 21st, 2009 - 9:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Five days after the death of 11-year-old Shano Khan, there was hardly any progress in the investigations as Delhi Police Tuesday said they were awaiting the post-mortem report to find out if she died due to corporal punishment she had received at school.
“We are still waiting for the post-mortem report. And without the report we cannot take any further action,” a senior police officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“But today we spoke to some of Shano’s classmates and took their versions into account,” said the officer.

The victim’s family says Shano slipped into coma Wednesday after Manju, her Class 2 teacher at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) school in outer Delhi, beat her for failing to learn the English alphabet and made her stand under the sun for more than an hour.

The girl was shifted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital Thursday evening after her condition deteriorated. She died Friday afternoon.

Police said the girl used to get seizures and might have died due to the shock.

Police have so far recorded the statements of Shano’s parents and class teacher Manju.

Meanwhile, over 100 protesters, mainly women, Tuesday staged a demonstration outside the Delhi Police headquarters at the busy ITO intersection demanding Manju’s arrest.

They carried banners and placards reading “Delhi Police Stop Shielding Accused of Corporal Punishment, Arrest Manju” and “Stop Corporal Punishment in Schools”.

The vigilance department of the MCD, which is also probing the matter, in a press statement Tuesday denied media reports of having given a clean chit to Manju.

“The vigilance Department would submit the report as soon as the required formalities are completed. The commissioner will take appropriate action on receiving the report from the Vigilance Department,” the MCD said.

“Since the Vigilance Department has so far not submitted the report, there is no question of giving clean chit to the teacher or reaching any conclusion,” it added.

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