Panaji: At least 11 girls studying in a higher secondary school at Bicholim in North Goa were hospitalised on Thursday after some fellow students used pepper spray on them as part of mischief, a senior police official said.
The incident occurred when the girl students were inside the classroom, he said.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has directed state police and the education department to conduct an inquiry.
“As per the complaint received from the management of the school, some girl students started feeling uneasy and breathless when another group of students used pepper spray on them as mischief,” the official said.
“Eleven girl students were initially referred to the Community Health Centre at Bicholim, and three of them were later admitted to the District Hospital in Mapusa town,” he said.
Bicholim MLA Dr Chandrakant Shetye, who rushed to the District Hospital, said the condition of all the students admitted there was stable.
Majority of the students, except two, would be given discharge soon, he said.
The police have asked the school management to set up a disciplinary committee and investigate the incident, the legislator said.
“Initial inquiry has revealed that some students sprayed the pepper from outside the classroom through the window,” he said.
The management has told police that it has already suspended four students from the school for their misconduct, the MLA added.
A single line statement issued on Thursday evening from the chief minister’s office said “the CM has directed the police and education department to conduct thorough enquiry about the incident in Shree Shantadurga Higher Secondary School Bicholim”.
Meanwhile, Bicholim police inspector Rahul Parab, in his letter to the school management, has asked the latter initiate action to ensure such incidents are not repeated.
He also asked the school management to install CCTV cameras on the premises, including classrooms.
Meanwhile, Director of Education Shailesh Sinai Zingde has issued a show cause notice to the school management asking why action should not be taken against them for failing to prevent the pepper spray incident.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Amit Patkar along with party MLA Carlos Ferreira also visited the students at the district hospital.
“It is unfortunate that students are resorting to this kind of mischievous behaviour,” he told reporters.
According to him, some parents informed him that a similar incident had happened on last Friday in the school, although it was at smaller scale.