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Jesuit Education Council suspends Loyola School Principal

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Shillong, Sept 22: The Education Council of Jesuit Society of Northeast India have suspended the Principal of Loyola School, Dawagre, East Garo Hills, Fr. Melwyn Fernandes SJ, indefinitely following the death of a class-IX student of the school while he was moving timber logs from school field.

In a press statement released on Wednesday,  Secretary for Jesuit Education, Kohima Region of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Anand Pereira SJ, said, “The Council sincerely regrets the loss of life and is committed to the cause of truth and justice. Through this press release,  the Council wishes to communicate to the parents and relatives their heartfelt condolences at the loss of their dear one and assures complete cooperation in the ongoing investigation.”

The tragic incident

14-year-old Cherian Bimik M Sangma, a class IX student, died while lifting timber logs in the school field at Loyola School premises in Dawagre village of Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district on Tuesday.

Cherian was staying in Williamnagar medical colony with his family to complete his studies.

Also read: Teen school boy crushed under log in Williamnagar

According to the school authorities, the tragic accident took place around 10.30 am on Tuesday (21 September, 2021) when some of the class IX students were requested to roll a few logs of timber that were in a plot of land that was about to be levelled. In the process of shifting the logs, a group of boys decided to carry a log instead of rolling it. The group consisting of five boys, four on one side and one on the other, lost coordination while throwing it, resulting in the log falling on Cherian, who was lifting it alone on the other side. The log knocked him to the ground leading to severe injury.

He was immediately taken to Williamnagar Civil Hospital but was declared ‘brought dead’.

NGOs shocked by incident, demand action against Principal

Shocked by the incident leading to the death of Late Cherian Bimik M Sangma, a young 14-year-old boy from Rongjeng,  who was staying in Williamnagar medical colony with his family to complete his studies, the Garo Students’ Union, Eastern Zone, Williamnagar has condemned the tragic incident at Loyola School, Dawagre, Williamnagar. They alleged that Cherian was moving timber logs due to enforced hard labour as punishment by the school principal, Melwyn Fernandes.

The GSU, EZ while condemning the incident has demanded for the removal of Fernandes from the Principal’s post and sought for an appropriate legal action against him for his incautious and negligence deed that caused the loss of precious life of a student.

It has also expressed that a candle light service will be held on 22nd September, 2021 in front of the Williamnagar DC office at 5:30 pm to show solidarity and in condolence to Late Cherian M Sangma.

Magisterial probe ordered 

East Garo Hills Deputy commissioner Swapnil Tembe has ordered a magisterial probe into the death of 14-year-old Cherian Bimik M Sangma.

Also read: Magisterial probe ordered into child death

“A magisterial probe has been ordered to ascertain the circumstances leading to the death of the child. The investigation will be done by senior Additional Magistrate A Marak,” informed the DC.

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