Voice of anger now spread far and wide across the state over the mysterious death of Ningthoujam Babysana, a class –VII student, in her hostel room at Standard Robarth (Hr. Sec) School. With the cry for justice becoming louder, people witnessed conducting the post mortem of the lifeless body of Babysana twice, in order to convince the people who are crying for justice of the ill fated 14 years old minor girl, the state government even prepared proceedings for handing over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation. And to make sure that the government will not left any stone unturned in the case of the mysterious death, a Special Investigation Team under an Additional Superintendent of Police had been formed and speedy investigation in the matter is seen carrying out since the SIT took over the case.
The first suo moto case taken up regarding the mysterious and unnatural death of Babysana inside her hostel room was registered under section 305 of the IPC. But from the pressure of the JAC formed against the death, the police had now incorporated section 302 of the IPC. This means that there is going to be a slight diversion to the case; the final argument may be on the matter regarding IPC 302 and IPC 305, and as per report there seems no possibility of IPC 302, if in case it is proved then the case is settled either by awarding punishment of the culprits as per the law of the land. The matter ends as per the law and justice of 1000s babysanas will never be provided.
It shooked every Manipuri, when the tragic news of a minor girl was found dead in a mysterious way was heard by everyone. It was everybody’s demand that justice be delivered for the ill fated minor girl. People across the state expressed shock as there has been many such cases happened in the state.
When the JAC formed against the mysterious death of the minor girl stuck to their demand for the specific case of Babysana, then it is not the right move. The society may witness more instances of the fate of Babysana forced to suicide. We should also keep in mind those incidents where minor girls were raped and molested in school-run hostels, torture of minor boys in hostels by the authorities, dead of a student after allegedly falling from the hostel stairs. All those incidents including Babysana were caused by negligence, irregularities and failure to follow guidelines by the hostel authorities in running the hostel.
While the people demands justice for Babysana it should be a demand for delivering justice for all students of the state. The soul of Late Babysana will only find peace and happiness when the system in hostels or residential schools of Manipur is made to conform to the rules and regulations both in letter and spirit. When corporal punishment is abolished and when children in hostels are provided love and affection to make feel homely.
One more thing that the state machineries seem to forget is about the students of this school. It is being told that there are over 4000 students in Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School. What will be the condition of these students? What will the mental and psychological state of the 36 students with whom Babysana stayed together? Have the Social welfare department taken up any initiative to settle the mental disturbance of the 36 students which are reported to be living in mental trauma after the incident? And it seems that until the investigation is over, the school is likely to remain closed due to pressure from various groups.
Will Babysana be happy even if justice is delivered for her when the rights of her friends in the school are continued to be deprived? It is neither the JAC nor the School authority that should be blamed when it comes to the fate of the students of the school. Why no initiative is seen to be taken up for rescue of the students of Standard Robarth, why government is not ordering the concern department of the state to give counseling to the 36 students who shared the same dormitory with Babysana , when the tragic incident occurred?
A simple suggestion to the government is to take over the administration of the school until the case is over to save the students by appointing a representative from the government.
The SIT investigating the matter is showing its seriousness in the incident. Their inquiry had also revealed that the hostel that the Standard Robarth is running does not have a valid license. Many more irregularities and anomalies are likely to be found during the course of the investigation.
Let’s hope babysana turns out to be the last victim of injustice and apathy meted out to students in the state.
- Published in Editorial