Q: What was really behind the suicide of a student in St Anthony’s convent school in Gorakhpur? Is there any concerted effort going on there to malign Christian schools?
A: A boy committed suicide in one of our schools. People got agitated thinking that we had not taken sufficient care to prevent it. In the beginning they were attempting to malign the school, but now they realise that there are so many other aspects to it which are also to be taken into consideration by the authorities or the police. There is some mystery surrounding the whole incident. There was a suicide note written by the boy, which they saw only after the death of the boy in the BRD medical college on the fifth day after he consumed poison. Prior to that, they had admitted the boy to a private clinic. The suicide letter was published in news papers also. The letter implicated a teacher first and then the school. Some people, including women, came in a group to destroy school facilities, and that actually was a planned mask to raise some communal issue. But we could manage it with the help of the police, who took a reasonable stand. It had so happened that the teacher scolded the boy, as teachers do at times, and made him stand up in the class as punishment. The suicide note said that the boy was taking his life because of the cruel treatment by the teacher concerned and expressed the wish that what happened to him does not happen to anybody else in the future. The boy in question is just 12 years old. His father is also a school teacher and his own sister had passed out from the same school. Parents have made the complaint because they wanted to cover up some story about which we have no idea. The mystery around the suicide is made deeper by the fact that the parents did not inform the school about it or enquire about it. The teacher was arrested and kept under custody by the police. We have good reasons to doubt that the letter is a forged one. Enquiry on the suicide is going on still. The postmortem report has also not been made public. The police also seem to be undecided on how they should proceed. The teacher, who is a Catholic, has now been given bail. Classes have started again, and at the moment we are at peace. We are following up the matter. This school belongs to the missionary sisters of the Queen of the Apostles.
Bp Thomas Thuruthimattam,