Viqarunnisa School: Release of teacher demanded
12:00 AM, December 08, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:19 AM, December 08, 2018

Viqarunnisa School: Release of teacher demanded

Protest in Viqarunnisa Noon School and College (VNSC) took a new turn as another group of students continued their demonstration for the second day yesterday, demanding release of their teacher Hasna Hena.

She was arrested in a case filed over “provoking the suicide” of ninth-grader Aritry Adhikary.

The group started the agitation after the students, who were protesting the death of Aritry, postponed their programme on Thursday.

Around 100 current students, former students, some teachers and guardians joined yesterday's protest near the main entrance to the institution in the capital's Bailey Road. The demonstration started around 2:00pm and continued till evening.

Earlier in the day, the annual examinations of the school resumed after three days of protest over the suicide of Aritry. Many of students went to the school campus with their guardians to take part in the exams.

On Thursday, the students, who were protesting the death of Aritry, decided to go back to class and attend exams after being assured that their six-point demand would be fulfilled following a meeting with the school teachers.

The demands include resignation of the acting principal, the school's governing body and punishment of the acting principal for instigating Aritry's suicide.

The students on Thursday said their protest had nothing to do with Hena's arrest. She was arrested following the case lodged by Aritry's father and the investigation by the education ministry.

Those demanding release of Hena claimed that she was not involved in insulting Aritry and her parents, but was accused in the case only for her post as a class teacher of Aritry. They demanded a proper investigation into the incident.

Sangita Imam, a teacher of the school, told The Daily Star that they joined the demonstration out of sympathy for their colleague Hena.

Asked about the alleged misconduct with students by some teachers, Sangita refuted the allegation.

The death of Aritry and the subsequent agitation, joined by parents and guardians, rocked the 66-year-old institution and prompted the education ministry, the school authorities and the law enforcement agencies to take action.

Three teachers -- acting principal Nazneen Ferdous, morning shift in-charge Zinat Akhtar, and class teacher Hena -- have been suspended following an education ministry order.

Aritry was found dead at their house in the capital's Shantinagar on Monday hours after she and her parents were allegedly insulted by some teachers of the school as she had been expelled for allegedly cheating in the annual exams.

The next day, Aritry's father Dilip Adhikary sued the three teachers for “provoking the suicide”.

A Dhaka court on Thursday denied Hena bail and sent her to jail after she was arrested on Wednesday.

The probe body by the education ministry found the three teachers responsible. It was apparent that Aritry had to choose the path of suicide after not being able to tolerate her parents' humiliation, according to the probe report. The investigation also unearthed many other irregularities at the school, it added.

Meanwhile, the VNSC authorities appointed Assistant Professor Hasina Begum as its acting principal as the immediate past acting principal had been suspended over the suicide.

Another teacher of the institution, Mohsin Talukder, was made the morning shift in-charge. Zinat Akhtar, one the three suspended teachers, had been in that post.

The decisions were made at an emergency meeting last night, Golam Ashraf Talukder, president of the school governing body, told The Daily Star.

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