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The teacher who takes a gun to school
October 18, 2006 20:11 IST
The "teacher" settles down nonchalantly on a seat in his classroom, but not his students. He begins to take the roll call, with the .315 calibre rifle resting besides him. Small students can sum up courage to only mumble when their names are called.
A teacher at Mirzapur primary school in Dumra block, Singh said he has been carrying a rifle ever since his brother was allegedly gunned down several years ago by Umashanker Singh, a resident of Rampur-Parori village.
"I have no option but to carry the rifle to the classroom as I fear I will get killed like my brother," he told a visiting PTI correspondent.
An old dispute between two distantly related families has led to filing of nearly a dozen criminal cases against each other.
On the other hand, Umashanker alleges Gaurishanker got many criminal cases got registered against him and his family merely to harass them and then used the "so-called threat" to his life as a ruse to procure a licence for his rifle, which he carries everywhere, even to school.
"Indeed, an atmosphere is created which is not conducive to studies," admitted District Education Superintendent Sachindra Kumar. "I have sought an explanation from Gaurishanker for his conduct," he said.
When contacted, DIG (Tirhut Range) Gupteshwar Pandey said he knew about the whole affair. "Once an inquiry to ascertain the threat perception to Gaurishanker's life is completed, we will provide him security," he said.
Gaurishanker's students and their parents could not muster enough courage to go on record against the teacher. Pleading anonymity, they said there was always a "feeling of terror" when he was teaching students.
"This reflects how helpless the administration is in enforcing rule of law in the area. The teacher must be barred from carrying a gun inside the classroom and instead given official security so that teacher-student relations are normal," said one of them.
The worst fear of parents was summed up by one of them succintly. "It is terrifying to see a teacher in the classroom with a gun hanging on his shoulder. Nobody knows when, instead of using his cane, he may use his rifle," he said.