Men enter school seeking recommendation Principal attacked with baton

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 05:45

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a bru­tal at­tack on the prin­ci­pal of the Tu­na­puna (Simb­hoonath Capildeo) Hin­du Pri­ma­ry School by two men yes­ter­day.

Up to press time, prin­ci­pal Jee­wan Ramd­hanie was be­ing treat­ed at the Er­ic Williams Med­ical Sci­ences Com­plex in Mount Hope for in­juries he sus­tained in the at­tack, which hap­pened in full view of all those who were still on the school com­pound at the time. The T&T Guardian was told the in­ci­dent left teach­ers and stu­dents high­ly trau­ma­tised.

The school, which is run by the Sanatan Dhar­ma Ma­ha Sab­ha (SDMS) board of man­age­ment, is lo­cat­ed at the cor­ner of the Churchill Roo­sevelt High­way and Pasea Main Road in Tu­na­puna.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port, at about 2.40 pm the prin­ci­pal was bad­ly beat­en by the two men. Mo­ments be­fore, the men told the se­cu­ri­ty guard that they want­ed to see the prin­ci­pal for a rec­om­men­da­tion. How­ev­er, the men pro­ceed­ed to the prin­ci­pal’s of­fice where they picked up a near­by ba­ton, ac­cost­ed Ramd­hanie and dealt him a blow to his head with the ba­ton. The men then left. The in­ci­dent is be­lieved to have been cap­tured on se­cu­ri­ty sur­veil­lance cam­eras on the com­pound and its footage will be hand­ed over to in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lice of­fi­cers.

Guardian Me­dia un­der­stands that the in­ci­dent may be linked to the sus­pen­sion of a stu­dent.

Con­tact­ed yes­ter­day, SDMS sec­re­tary-gen­er­al Sat Ma­haraj de­scribed the at­tack as “fright­en­ing.”

“It is shock­ing that the peo­ple who are mould­ing the next gen­er­a­tion they are be­ing as­sault­ed,” Ma­haraj said.

“Not just on our roads but on a teacher, a pub­lic ser­vant, who is train­ing our chil­dren. It is fright­en­ing! That is what this coun­try has come too. We are a vi­o­lent na­tion.”

Ma­haraj could not con­firm the mo­tive for the as­sault but ex­pressed ut­ter shock and dis­gust over the sit­u­a­tion.

“I am on­ly hear­ing that it could be linked to a sus­pen­sion of a child but I am yet to get a full re­port be­cause no­body knows why he was beat­en,” Ma­haraj said.

Ma­haraj said he was last told that Ramd­hanie re­ceived sev­er­al stitch­es but said he had re­ceived a fur­ther up­date as to whether or not Ramd­hanie was still at the hos­pi­tal at the time.

Ma­haraj called for the in­ter­ven­tion of the T&T Uni­fied Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, adding schools should move to strength­en their se­cu­ri­ty.

Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion An­tho­ny Gar­cia al­so strong­ly con­demned the “de­spi­ca­ble act of vi­o­lence.”

“Such acts of in­dis­ci­pline from adults to as­sault a prin­ci­pal on a school com­pound must be con­demned in its strongest terms by so­ci­ety. Acts such as these must not be tol­er­at­ed and adults are ex­pect­ed to be­have in a more re­spon­si­ble man­ner and set the prop­er ex­am­ple for our na­tion’s chil­dren,” Gar­cia said in a re­lease.

A team of of­fi­cers from the Stu­dent Sup­port Ser­vices Di­vi­sion of the min­istry is ex­pect­ed to vis­it the school to­day to pro­vide in­ter­ven­tion and coun­selling for stu­dents. Of­fi­cials of the Em­ploy­ee As­sis­tance Pro­gramme will al­so vis­it to pro­vide coun­selling to the teach­ers.

Of­fi­cers of the Tu­na­puna Po­lice Sta­tion are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat