Arrested but not on murder charge:
Need to regulate hostels
Let it be very clear. Pheiroijam Robinson, the infamous son of Ph Landhoni, Principal of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School who is currently in police custody has not been booked under murder. Rather he is in police custody under the JJ Act and charged of assault, abuse, and wilful neglect of the students staying at the hostel where N Babysana was found hung to death on July 18. Not charged of murder but he has been charged as a prime suspect in the abetment of suicide of Babysana under the Indian Penal Code. Staying clear of murder, but picking up a suspect for driving the young girl to take her own life and this is how the story so far has panned out. Whether this will go down well with the JAC or with the people is not yet clear, but the police seem to be doing its job and this is something which should be acknowledged. What however one should be careful about is the presence of so many keyboard experts, who lost no time in uploading pictures of the accused on social media sites and drawing their own conclusion that the big cat has been nabbed. This is mischievous and dangerous as well and could well take the case down the wrong path. Now that a man who is in charge of the hostel has been arrested for wilful negligence of how the hostel was run, this should give the right push to the Government to frame a law for every hostel to follow. As stated in an earlier commentary, there are hostels galore being run and managed at Imphal especially for students who want to pursue their Class XI and XII at the State capital. Most of these students come from outside Imphal, including the hill districts. Moreover there are hundreds of students from the other districts who come to Imphal and stay at these hostels, attend coaching classes to take a crack at NEET and JEE to get into medical and engineering schools. And take note not all the hostels are affiliated to any schools or educational institutes but are run by private individuals.
In the death of N Babysana let the Government wake up to the need of a law to regulate the hostels. And it should also be clear to all that corporal punishment is today illegal and no one has the right to subject any young student to corporal punishment. Same is the case with applying immense psychological pressure on the young students. As things stand, young students are already under immense pressure to study, not only to score high marks in the Class XII examinations but also to crack competitive examinations like NEET and JEE and piling more pressure on them by the same hostel which is there to provide shelter to these young children does not make sense. This is where a mechanism needs to be put in place which must strictly be followed by all those opening and managing hostels. Let the Government also make it mandatory for all hostels to register themselves with an approved body. Let the license be given only when the proposed hostel is inspected. Let their rules and regulations be submitted before the license is given. Such steps will go some way in making lives of the young students at the hostel more meaningful and more educative. The case is on and let the police investigate the matter and come to a logical conclusion. On the other hand, some thoughts ought to be given to the other students of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School too.