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From Our Correspondent | TURA, October 11, 2018

In a shocking incident, three children were expelled from a school in North Garo Hills, two months ago, leading the Achik Indigenous Justice Initiative Forum (AIJIF) to write to the DCPO, NGH asking for strict action against those responsible for the transgression.

The incident took place in the month of August at the Depa Secondary School near Sarangma in North Garo Hills. Two of the girls were studying in Class 8 while one was from Class 9.

Meanwhile following the complaint, the deputy commissioner of NGH, SC Sadhu has also sought an inquiry into the matter even as the 3 children face an uncertain future.

According to the AIJIF, the three girls were expelled through an order by the headmaster, T Sangma and assistant headmaster, NC Paul on August 9 after they were involved in an altercation with another group of girls during school.

In a complaint to the DCPO, NGH, the NGO complained on the right to education being snatched away by the school after they were unceremoniously expelled. While 2 of the girls are from Dainadubi, another one is from Amjonga in Assam. The girl from Amjonga apparently was recently married after she failed to continue her education.

“The girls were allegedly missing for a few days from their homes. After they returned home and went to school, they were made the brunt of jokes. Some children played a dirty prank by sticking a poster on the bag of one of the girls calling them various names. The girl went to complain to the teacher on the matter and also asked around as to who was responsible after which the altercation took place,” said director of AIJIF, Alex K Sangma.

The NGO stated that what could have been solved very easily was allowed to get out of hand due to the pathetic way it was handled by the school administration. The situation came to such that the 3 students were asked not to come to the school for a few days after the incident.

In the interim the teachers held a meeting between themselves, apparently during the absence of principal, where in they decided to recommend the expulsion of the 3 students, This was later assented to by the principal.

However when the NGOs of the area objected to the expulsion, the school decided to recall them back. However, this time the students objected to the matter.

“They (school students) even threatened to quit the school if we allowed the three girls back. We had no option but to expel them. Even the NGOs relented,” said the principal when contacted.

“They cannot be expelled from school this way. We will initiate an inquiry and take action accordingly,” said DC, Sadhu.

“The girls have expressed their interest in continuing their students. Their fundamental rights have been snatched by a lazy school administration who also flouted all norms under RTE. Acton has to be taken in this case for the sake of the student community in the state,” said AIJIF coordinator Chenang Momin.

A visit to the school was also paid by the DCPO though the details of the inquiry are yet to be known.

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