Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Threat letter to school panic authority, students
Malda, 16 March, 2015: Unsigned threat letters demanding huge money were found today in a state government-sponsored school approximately 12 km from here. It has been threatened that if the money is not paid, students would be kidnapped. The letter naturally created huge sensation at Nagharia high school with nearly 2,000 students at Fulbaria gram panchayat area in English Bazaar police station particularly at the back drop of similar letters recently found in the adjoined areas which had caused a sharp fall in students’ attendance. Panicked school authority approached to police demanding security for the students.
When the gate of Nagharia high school, a venue for higher secondary examinations was opened around 9 am this morning, the teachers found at least three letters demanding Rs 2 lakh from the school authority. The letters also claimed that at least ten students would be abducted if the demand was not met. The anonymous senders further threatened that disclosing the content would prove to be perilous for the school.
Head Master Sunil Sarkar said, “We immediately informed police regarding this letter. This might be a hoax but it has certainly created a panic at the locality.” Mr Sarkar observed, “For last fortnight there was a sharp fall in the students’ turnout. Now such letters would worsen the situation, we fear.
School president Abdul Khaleque said, “I called on the mobile numbers mentioned in threat letters. Someone in a hoarse voice asked me to arrange the money or to be ready for abduction of students. As I asked to know their identity, they disconnected the phone.”
It may be recalled that for the last few days panic gripped Malda villages as the students keep away from the schools. Despite the efforts on the part of the teachers and management the fear from the students’ mind can hardly be wiped out. Even those who keep coming to schools are taken back home by the guardians in the middle of the school.
On 2 March a primary school in Manikchak got anonymous letters demanding money from the teachers. The senders too could not be identified but as a result panic engulfs large areas of Manikchak, Ratua and English Bazaar. The villagers began to keep vigil at their villages at night and the rumour is spreading out fast.
Hariswami Das, Headmaster of Sovanagar High School had had the worst experience. On 2 March hundreds of guardians came to the school demanding their students back. “All of them were panicked and wanted their children back home. We could not console them.” The situation did not improve since then. At present hardly 200 students keep coming to our school out of 2500”, Mr Das said.
The experience of nearby Haripur High School, Pramila Bala High School of Ratua, Milki High School of English Bazaar is the same.
“The rumour is spreading that students especially the girls would be kidnapped on way to their school. This led the most of the students confined in their homes,” Mr Sarkar said. True to his claim it was seen that less than 30% of the students have turned up to schools in rural English Bazaar. If the effect is worse in the lower classes, the higher classes are no exception.
SP Prasun Bannerjee said, “We are trying to find out the source of the letters. But apparently it seems merely a prank made by some idle persons.”