Bhopal: 7-year-old Sooraj Kharte, a student of first grade, was strangled to death at Government Scheduled Caste Boys Secondary Ashram Shala located in the Patel Nagar E-sector of capital Bhopal. The child was found in the hostel’s bathroom at about quarter past eight on Wednesday night. He was later declared dead in the hospital.
On Thursday, a short post-mortem report confirmed the murder. After this, the administration swung into action. Collector Tarun Pithode suspended the hostel superintendent Rachel Ram and assistant commissioner of tribal development department Shakeel Qureshi and ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
There are three bathrooms in the Government Scheduled Caste Boys Secondary Ashram School located in Patel Nagar. The children live on the first and second floors. Wednesday evening at around seven and a half Suraj was found unconscious near the bathroom on the ground floor. At that time all the children were on the first floor. However, children often use the first-floor bathroom.
The Piplani police claim that the killer could be someone inside the hostel, but in the midst of investigating every aspect, the biggest question of the police is that why did Sooraj come to the ground floor bathroom in the evening? The short PM report also revealed an injury to Suraj’s head. This injury is caused by a fall or some other reason. A private three-story house houses 56 children in a hostel operated from 2016-17.
There are two bathrooms and four classrooms on the ground floor. After finishing school, the children go to sleep in the rooms on the first and second floors. Children are looked after by watchman Jagdish with wife Rekha and servant Santosh with wife Rani. Rachel Ram is the hostel superintendent since its establishment. Jagdish and Santosh’s rooms are on the first floor only.
Suraj lived with his elder brother: Suraj lived with his elder brother Deepak in the hostel. The watchman Jagdish told the police that the bathroom is on the ground floor of the hostel. He was the first to see the child. According to the short PM report, there is a wound on the head of the child, but it is not the cause of death.
Deepak first saw Suraj in this condition: The Piplani police has started questioning the hostel staff. During this, statements of watchman Jagdish were also taken. Superintendent Rachel Ram said that at around quarter past eight, Jagdish had called and reported that Suraj had fallen near the bathroom, while Jagdish told the police that he came from the first floor to the ground floor after hearing the noise of the children.
Police sources said that Suraj was first seen by his elder brother Deepak in this situation. Deepak reported this to another child living in the hostel. Then Jagdish came down. DIG Irshad Wali and ASP Sanjay Sahu reached the spot on Thursday night.
11 children sleep in a room: Suraj’s father Rajesh works as a laborer. They have three children, Deepak, Suraj, and Deepesh. He told that Deepak was selected in this hostel only last year and Suraj came here in August this year. The father alleged that the children did not get the right food nor there was good accommodation. As many as 11 children were forced to sleep in each room.
Delay in sending child to hospital, warden suspended: Preliminary investigation has revealed that the warden of the ashram, Rachel Ram, delayed in sending the child to the hospital after finding him unconscious. At the hospital doctors declared him dead after the examination. On the basis of which the warden has been suspended. Here, the responsibility of monitoring this ashram was given to divisional convener Shakeel Qureshi, who did not inform the officers about it. He has also been suspended.
Children complained about food: A week ago, the children living in the ashram school complained to the Assistant Commissioner of Tribal Development, Avnish Chaturvedi, about not getting good food in the ashram school. In the complaint, the children had told that the behaviour of the warden also does not good with them. The matter is also under investigation.