ASCPCR (c) 40/2017 == Case related to possession of girls by spirits in Abid Raja School in Sonai, Cachar District.
The ASCPCR intervened in the case under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Runumi Gogoi, who visited the Abid Raja High School, in Sonai, on her visit to Cachar district. The team included member ShriGopal Ch. Sharma, Technical consultant Mr. Rajiv Kumar Jha, Protection officer, DCPU, Cachar, Ms. Twinkle Das, District Urban Coordinator, SSA, Gautam Das, on being informed by the district administration.
The issue was first informed to the district administration by the principal of the school, on which a team for investigation was sent. The official investigating team consisted of Additional DC, Cachar. A few days later also a team from Silchar Medical College visited the school for investigation and counseled the girls concerned. But it was observed that the school authorities relied completely on a ‘Mufti’ a local religious practitioner for handling the situation whenever the girls would get hysteric. The Mufti insisted that the girls were being possessed by Spirits.
• The ASCPCR team interacted with teachers and students during their visit and found that the concerned High School, established in 1973, is in close vicinity of another two schools, the LP and ME Schools, all the three without any boundary wall.
• The buildings are in bad condition and small classrooms with high number of students makes it suffocating for the children to sit for long.
• Sticks in classroom, supposedly used by Mufti, on students possessed by spirits (As claimed by students)
• At the time of visit, media teams were seen in the school premises.
(Both the above situations were violation of RTE Act 2009 and JJ Act 2015)
• The Commission recommended, forming of a six member committee involving NCPCR, ASCPCR, Minority Commission, Department of Education and Department of Health, to probe the situation.
• A boundary wallis immediately raised around the schools, to stop entry of unauthorized people into the premises.
• Health check-up and counseling of concerned students is done and if required students be referred to Silchar Medical College Hospital.
• Team of experts from Social Work and Law background, Psychologists, and Religious representatives visit the school and work closely with the authorities.
• To promote scientific reasoning in the matter and sensitize nearby community, as long time intervention to deal with the situation.
• Probe into the role of school authorities in the matter and take necessary action against those found guilty of any violation.
• Institutes like Paranormal society and Indian Paranormal Team, be engaged in investigation.
The former Chairperson sent the copy of findings and recommendations to Chief Minister, Education Minister, chairperson NCPCR, and concerned officials, for necessary action.
The Commissioner and Secretary, Secondary Education took immediate action and sent letter to DC, Cachar to immediately constitute a team of officials, including Inspector of schools and District Elementary Education officer to do the needful in relation to building enough classrooms for students in the school concerned and conduct regular counseling of students.