Tortured schoolgirl’s body handed over to parents; no arrest yet (Second Lead)

April 18th, 2009 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The body of 11-year-old Shano Khan, who died Friday after being subjected to corporal punishment by her teacher for not knowing the English alphabet, was handed over to her parents amid protests from locals. The teacher is being questioned by police, though no arrest has been made, officials said Saturday.
“The teacher is not absconding and we are questioning her. But she has denied giving any strict punishment to the girl. We are investigating the matter but no arrest has been made as yet. We are waiting for the post mortem examination report,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (outer Delhi) Atul Katiyar told IANS.

Police sources said: “According to initial medical reports there were no injuries found on the victim’s body.”

Shano slipped into coma Wednesday after her class teacher Manju in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) primary school in Narela in northwest Delhi beat her and made her stand in the heat for more than an hour for failing to recite the alphabet.

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

Following the incident, which sent shock waves across the nation, the teacher was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The teacher Friday wrote a letter to the deputy education officer of Narela, professing her innocence.

The police handed over Shano’s body to her parents Saturday after which the locals staged a protest in the area and damaged a few vehicles. The police used sticks to disperse the crowd.

“We are waiting for the post mortem examination report to ascertain the exact cause of death. We will take action once we analyse them,” said a senior police officer of the outer district.

While the MCD suspended the teacher and the school principal Thursday, Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra announced compensation of Rs.50,000 for Shano’s parents.

Shano was a resident of the Bawana resettlement colony in Narela area of northwest Delhi. She has six siblings - four sisters and two brothers.

Her death is not an isolated incident. In March 2008, a 15-year-old girl was hit by a male teacher for refusing to take private tuition from him. The girl died after remaining in coma for nearly two-and-a-half months.

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