The family came to know after her funeral that a school staff had allegedly beaten Anu the morning of the day she was hospitalised.

10-yr-old disabled Dalit girl dies in Kerala Family says school denied timely treatment
news Death Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 11:27

Anu’s neighnours remember her as a smart, active girl who expressed with her actions. The 10-year-old Dalit girl was speech and hearing impaired, healthy and happy. So when she passed away on Tuesday at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, it came as a shock to her family. Anu was taken to the hospital from the Rahmaniya special school hostel in Kozhikode, whose staff the child’s family is accusing for her death.

Anu, a resident of Thottumukkam in Kozhikode, was hospitalised on February 2 after she was found unconscious at the hostel. She was in intensive care unit of Kozhikode Medical College for two days before she passed away on Tuesday. Anu’s relatives alleged that she was beaten by a staff in her hostel, and not taken to the hospital even though she felt sick.

Viswan, an activist and one of Anu’s neighbours, told TNM that the cause of death can only be confirmed after postmortem. That being said, the school authorities had informed Anu’s parents on February 1 that she was in the hospital.

“It was only after her funeral on Wednesday that Anu's sister, who studies in the same school, informed the family that Anu was beaten by a lady staff at hostel for not eating food in the morning. After this, Anu went to her room and lay in bed the whole day without eating anything. She was also vomiting in between. Authorities did not check whether she was okay. In the evening, she was found unconscious and was taken to hospital. Medical College Hospital was just 500 metres away from school, even then the authorities did not bother to take her there for the whole day," Viswan alleged.

He added that authorities did not inform the girl's parents about Anu being unwell for the whole day either. "After reaching the hospital, the doctor himself informed police,” Viswan said.

In the police complaint, Anu's father Anish has also alleged that circumstances regarding his daughter's death are suspicious. "I was informed by the school authorities around 7 pm in the evening. By the time we reached the hospital, she was on ventilator. Doctor had doubts and recommended postmortem. After the funeral on February 5, we came to know that she was beaten by a lady staff in the hostel and she was not feeling well from the morning. There are mysteries regarding her death. She was very happy and healthy when she visited home last week," the complaint says.

Rafiq, another one of Anu’s neighbours, said that nobody knew whether she had any diseases. "Neither her parents nor relatives were aware that whether she had any illness. So, cause of death is not known, but school authorities showed complete laxity in providing her with treatment on time. If she was taken to the hospital in the morning, maybe her life would have been saved," he said.

The locals are planning to form an action committee to get justice for Anu. "We have given petitions to city police commissioner and Minister A K Balan. If the enquiry does not happen, we will protest until the family gets justice," Viswan said.