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Violent protests as Delhi school reopens after stampede incident

September 29, 2009 13:54 IST

A Delhi government school, which witnessed a stampede that left five girls dead almost three weeks ago, reopened on Tuesday amid violent protests from locals and parents demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the tragic incident.

The police had to use mild force to control the crowd which pelted stones, set afire a bus and blocked the Delhi-Ghaziabad Highway, causing a huge traffic jam and inconvenience to motorists in the area.

Five girls were killed and 34 other students were injured in the stampede in the Government Secondary School in Khajuri Khas on September 10, while they were trying to make their way up and down a staircase, after being asked to shift classrooms during an examination.

As soon as the school opened today at its scheduled time in the morning, a large number of people, including locals and parents, started gathering outside the gate, shouting slogans against the school authorities. As tempers ran high in the locality, a large number of police personnel were deployed around the school to avoid any untoward incident. The agitating parents of the schoolchildren rued that the government had not done enough to ensure justice in the matter.

"We demand a CBI enquiry. By suspending a few officials, the state government is trying to sweep a larger issue under the carpet. Our children are not safe here," Rehana Banu, an anguished parent, said.

Riyasuddin, a local resident, said the compensation announced for the families of the victims was not adequate and demanded that the government enhance the compensation package. Following the incident, the government had terminated the services of the principal and suspended two vice-principals and the zonal deputy director (Education) as recommended by the magisterial probe.

Though a case of death due to negligence was registered, no one has been arrested with regard to the incident.

"We are awaiting a copy of the magisterial enquiry report. Once we get it, we will take action," a senior police official said.

The magisterial inquiry by Deputy Commissioner T C Nakh had categorically blamed the school authorities for the stampede. Nakh had submitted the report to the government on September 18.

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