Classmates of a girl, who died of snakebite at a government school here, alleged on Sunday that they were threatened by some people claiming to be past students for giving statement against the school management. The students said they were threatened when they went to record their statement with the Child Rights Commission about the incident.
"They alleged that we have been trained to talk against the school. No, it was not the case. Our friend and classmate died. We will stand strong in this case. We will stand with her family," Nimisha, a classmate of Shehala told a TV channel.
Shehala Sherin (10) had died after being bitten by a snake inside her classroom on November 20. The victim's father, Rajesh, too said some people threatened them by saying witnesses would have to face the consequences alone. "Those claiming to be the former students threatened us that all the channels and media will leave this place after sometime and we will be alone to face the consequence," Rajesh told the media.
Meanwhile, in an all-party meeting held here, it was decided to reconstruct the dilapidated classroom where the incident took place. The school authorities were asked not to take any revengeful actions against the children who had protested against the incident. "It has been decided to construct a new classroom. The cleaning drive will start tomorrow. The upper primary section of the school will remain closed till December 2. The high school and higher secondary sections of the institute will be open from November 26," an official privy to the meeting said.
An interim principal was also appointed for the school. The state government had earlier suspended three school officials, including the principal and vice-principal. The Kerala Government has also directed all panchayats in the state to complete pending repair work in all schools in their jurisdiction.
The meeting was held amid protests against the authorities of the state-run vocational higher secondary school at Kalpetta for failing to ensure that Shehala Sherin was rushed to a hospital on time.