Student suicide case: Nun principal granted bail
By Matters India Reporter
Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court has granted bail to a Catholic nun who was under judicial custody in connection with the suicide of a minor girl student.
Justice Hitesh K Sharma on September 21 released on bail Sister Rency Sebastian, headmistress of St Mary’s School in Naharkatiya, some 470 km northeast of Guwahati, the commercial capital of Assam state in northeastern India.
Sister Sebastian, a member of the Dibrugarh province of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, was arrested on September 3 after Namrata Sarmah, a seventh grader in her school committed suicide.
The bridge is some 10 km from the school and 3 km from her home in Sasoni Amguri village in the district.
The 13-year-old girl, a resident Sassoni Amguri village near Naharkatiya, jumped into the Burhi Dehing river from a bridge on August 29 while returning home from school. The 13-year-old girl had reportedly left behind a suicide note that accused the nun of insulted her.
Arup Borbora, the counsel for Sister Sebastian, said the nun was arrested under section 306/34 of the Indian Penal Code for abetment of suicide.
According to prosecution, Sister Sebastian had allegedly beaten Sarmaha in front of other students. However, the nun has denied all charges. “After entering the class I saw objectionable sentences written on desk and benches and inquired who wrote it. Without even naming Namrata, I told the class the school is teaching good things and what have you written,” the nun explained before her arrest.
Sister Sebastian was picked up from Tinsukia civil hospital where she was undergoing treatment and produced before a magistrate in Dibruagarh. Tinsukia is 47 km east of Dibrugarh.
A source in the congregation told Matters India that they are still under shock over the case, which she said, was just an allegation. According to her, Sister Sebastian has taken the allegation in good faith although it has affected her emotionally. “She is not disposed to talk,” the source added.