01/25/2020, 12.08
INDIA
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After teenager kills himself in a Raipur Catholic school, some try to blame the latter

by Nirmala Carvalho

The Hindu student, Dileshwar Marawi, was in grade 9. His teachers describe him as “a good student, calm and quiet”. His family don’t blame the school, but some radical elements want to implicate the latter in the suicide.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Chhattisgarh police are investigating the suicide of a teenager at a Catholic school hostel.

Dileshwar Marawi, a grade 9 Hindu student, attended St Joseph's Higher Secondary School in Jairamnagar, Archdiocese of Raipur.

Fr Francis M Britto, from Janjgir parish, Champa district, told AsiaNews that he did not leave any note. His family has no clue about the reasons for his gesture.

“The parents,” explained the clergyman, “aren’t blaming the school. But some anti-Christian elements are trying to connect Catholic institution to the boy’s suicide.”

Last Monday, Marawi hung himself from a ceiling fan. Video surveillance cameras show him going into the school in the morning, then going to the hostel dormitory alone. Here he tied a wire to the fan and hung himself.

The police have opened an investigation.

“None of the classmates know the reasons for the suicide,” said school principal Fr Pankaj Shuklal. “Even the police and family members can't explain it.”

“He was a good student and was about to start grade 10. He was calm and quiet. Nobody knows the reasons. However, some politicians, student associations and journalists want to implicate the school.”

The boy, who was originally from Champa district, enrolled in the Catholic school in grade 6. His older brother also studied in the school and lived at the hostel.

His parents knew the school, and "for this reason, they don't hold it responsible,” Fr Shuklal said.

Jairamnagar is the oldest mission in the Archdiocese of Raipur. The latter opened a Hindi-language middle school in 1931 for boys and girls with the aim of educating local Dalit children.

Under Fr Shuklal, St Joseph has become one of the best state schools. A few years ago, it was first in grade 12 exams, which open the door to a university education.

Both Hindi and English are used in teaching. The hostel hosts at least 300 pupils from neighbouring villages.

Thousands of youths have graduated from the school since it was created, achieving good positions in society.

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