Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 22:
The inquiry committee formed by Khordha district administration to probe the circumstances leading to the tragic drowning to death of four high school students in a canal on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital city yesterday, submitted its report to the School and Mass Education department this evening.
Sources in the department said the inquiry committee, in its report, has said the concerned teacher could have informed the parents of the students about their mischief instead of banishing them from the school on Saturday.
“Action will be taken after studying the report,” informed Usha Padhee, secretary, School and Mass Education department on receipt of the inquiry report.
Four class IX students of Government High School at Rail Vihar in Chandrasekharpur in Bhubaneswar had drowned in the Barang-Puri main canal on Tuesday while taking bath.
Fourteen class IX students of Government High School at Rail Vihar in Chandrasekharpur in Bhubaneswar had skipped school on Tuesday and had gone to Barang on the outskirts of the capital city to while away time.
While in the area, they decided to take a bath in the Barang –Puri main canal that proved fatal for four of them.
Four students had jumped into the canal to rescue a friend whose feet had slipped while he was bathing. Though one of them was rescued, four others were swept away by the strong current in the canal.
According to the statement of a student, who was also in the group that had gone to take bath in the canal, a lady teacher of the school had scolded them and had asked them not to come to school for 15 days as they were found playing during recess by the teacher.
The Sub Collector and District Education Officer had visited the school this morning and conducted an inquiry into the tragic incident. They had spoken to teachers, students and guardians in the course of their inquiry.
It may be noted that Minister for Schools and Mass Education Debi Prasad Mishra had yesterday ordered the district administration to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report within 24 hours.
Mishra and local BJD MLA Priyadarshi Mishra had also visited the school today to have a first hand account of the situation after the tragic incident.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik earlier in the evening today announced an ex gratia of Rs one lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) for the families of each of the four students who drowned in the Barang-Puri main canal on Tuesday.