Hyderabad: The State Human Rights Commission on Thursday directed the management of the Ravindra Bharathi Public School, Vijayawada Rs three lakh each as compensation to the parents of five of the 15 students who were drowned during a picnic on November 27, 2005.
The SHRC’s direction came after a suo moto case was registered by its former Chairman Justice B Subhashan Reddy based on newspaper reports.
Terming the attitude of the school management as ‘barbaric and inhuman,’ the SHRC, in its judgement held the management responsible for the tragedy.
The SHRC said that it was its responsibility to ensure the safety of the school’s students while they ventured into the Munneru River on that Sunday morning.
A team of SHRC members had visited the site of the drowning incident and had recorded the statements of the witnesses.
The management tried to wash its hands off the responsibility by saying that the students had come along for the picnic voluntarily and hence it could not be held accountable. It also stated that the staff was shocked into immobility and hence could not help the drowning students who had ventured in the river.
Among the other 14 parents (one family’s two sons were the victims), nine have reached a compromise with the school authorities for a full and final settlement.
As many as four hundred and thirty six students and 40 teachers went in seven buses from the city on that fateful day. The students in the first bus rushed into the river for a dip when the tragedy struck.
On hearing the cries of help, fishermen there managed to rescue five of the students,. (INN)