Viqarunnisa Noon School and College Class IX class teacher Hasna Hena was arrested at Uttara in Dhaka few hours after she was sacked along with acting principal Nazneen Ferdous, assistant headmistress Jinat Akhter.
A Detective Branch official said that a team of detectives arrested Hasna Hena at Uttara at about 11:00pm and taken her to Detective Branch office in a case filed on charge of instigating Class IX student of the school Aritri Adhikari to commit suicide.
The arrest came after the governing body of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College on Wednesday sacked the three amid raging protests by students and guardians demanding justice over Aritri Adhikari committing suicide on Monday afternoon.
Following directives from the government the school governing body rescheduled the ongoing annual examinations.
A three-member probe committee formed by the education ministry, found that three teachers, Nazneen, Jinat Akhter and Hasna Hena, instigated 16-year old Aritri to end her life.
A case filed by the victim’s father against the three teachers was transferred to the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police from the Paltan police station for investigation.
Aritri, daughter of Dilip Adhikari, ended her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan with a scarf at the family’s Shantinagar residence.
The tragedy occurred allegedly a day after teachers insulted her parents in her presence on Monday, when her mobile phone was seized on suspicions that she used it to copy her social science paper on Sunday.
‘In the evening, the governing body held an emergency meeting and removed three teachers as per the directive of the education ministry. A new acting principal would be appointed soon,’ governing body member Eunus Ali Akond told New Age.
He said that the classes would resume on Sunday and the examinations scheduled for Wednesday would be taken on December 7 and the examination scheduled for today on December 11.
The decisions would conveyed to the students over mobile phone texts, he said.
Students and guardians began to gather in front of the school at Bailey Road since 10 AM on Wednesday to express outrage over the authorities’ misbehavior that led to Aritri’s suicide.
The protesters raised slogans demanding justice.
They were holding placards with the inscription ‘We want justice.’
After midday, Mushtari Sultana, teachers’ representative in the school governing body announced at a news conference in the principal’s office room that the decision had been taken to suspend all the classes and the ongoing annual examinations until further order.
She said that the decision was taken to express solidarity with students who are shocked. ‘We also are very shocked.’
She said that as the principal was sick, she could not come to the school.
In the secretariat, education minister Nurul Islam Nahid told reporters at his office that the probe committee formed by the ministry had recommended removal of three teachers, acting principal Nazneen, assistant headmistress Jinnat and class teacher Hasna Hena.
He said that the committee found that the three teachers threatened Aritri’s parents and behaved with them harshly which instigated her to commit suicide.
‘The girl opted to commit suicide as she could not accept the disrespect shown to her parents and the three teachers cannot avoid their responsibly,’ said Nahid.
The minister said that the committee found irregularities in the school including in admitting students beyond the rules and opening branches and sections without approval.
Nahid said that he had ordered the school governing body to remove the three teachers and the ministry had decided to cancel their monthly payment order and initiate departmental proceedings against them.
He said that the ministry, as per the High Court order, would form a five-member committee led by an education ministry additional secretary.
An education ministry deputy secretary for secondary and higher secondary education in a letter requested director general of RAB and Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner to take appropriate legal action against the three teachers, officials told New Age.
Despite the developments, students announced that their protests would continue until their six demands were met.
The demands include punishing the acting principal, stopping physically or mental torture of students and guardians, holding out threats of issuing TCs to students, resignation of the governing body member, assurance that no punitive action would be taken against the students for joining the protests.
Severe traffic jam developed on the streets around the school during the protests.
The protesters left the spot in the late afternoon announcing that they would resume the protests this morning.
Paltan police station sub-inspector Sultana Akhter told New Age that the case filed by Aritri’s papa had been transferred to the DB for investigation.
She said that none was arrested until 8PM on Wednesday.
Child Rights Advocacy Coalition in Bangladesh formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in protest against the school authorities’ behavior that led Aritri to commit suicide.
It demanded exemplary punishment for those involved.
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