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By A Newsman

Malda, 19 May: IN a bizarre incident, the teacher of a government school in Malda today smeared sindoor, vermillion, on the forehead of a girl student inside the school in order to marry her!

What’s more! The teacher in question is aged above 50-years and the girl is barely 13-years old, studying in class VII.

The incident took place at Pulintola Junior High School located under Malda’s Bhutni police station area. Ever since the incident, the accused teacher has gone into hiding, while the headmaster of the school Pranab Mandal had to face the wrath of the public and is now admitted to Malda Medical College and Hospital.

A classmate of the girl said that about two months ago, primary section teacher of the school, Dhanapati Mandal, proposed the girl but she outright rejected the same. Despite this, Dhanapati, who is still unmarried at 50 plus year age, kept on pressurising the girl for marriage.

The girl, however, kept the matter to herself and some of her classmates without reporting it to her family or the school headmaster.

Meanwhile, unable to convince the girl, a desperate Dhanapati today got hold of her soon after tiffin break and forcibly smeared vermillion on the parting of her hair as a mark of marriage.

“We were returning to our classroom after having mid-day meal that Dhanapati sir stopped her and smeared the vermillion and said that she was his wife now. Scared by this, she started crying out loud and we rushed to call other teachers,” said the classmate.

The headmaster of the school Pranab Mandal intervened at once and tried to wash off the vermillion from the girl’s forehead. By then the news had spread in the village like a wildfire and the outraged villagers started pouring in. On finding that the headmaster had washed off the vermillion, they accused him of trying to destroy evidence and roughed him up severely.

Getting to know of this a team from Bhutni police station arrived soon and rescued the headmaster. He was first taken to the Manickchak block hospital and from there to the Malda Medical College and Hospital as his injuries are critical in nature.

The father of the girl has lodged a complaint with police against the teacher concerned who is still on the run. The headmaster on the other hand has lodged a complaint the villagers for manhandling him.

The officer-in-charge of Bhutni police station Tarun Saha said that they have launched a manhunt for the accused teacher and hoped to nab him soon.