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Justice for Shaan

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Mr. Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay

Consul General of India – New York

3 East 64th Street,

New York – NY 10065


SUB: Petition seeking Justice for Shaan Prajapati & immediate dismissal of current administration at Sherwood College, Nainital

Dear Sir,

We represent the US-based alumni of Sherwood College, Nainital, one of the leading educational institutions of India.

In recent weeks we have been deeply distressed by the death of a 14 year old student, Shaan Prajapati, a student attending Sherwood College, due to gross negligence by the school

administration. This incident has received wide media attention in India. Based on preliminary evidence, the child was suffering from pneumonia and was denied medical care till he became critically ill. He was then transferred to Bombay hospital in Haldwani. This hospital was ill equipped to take care of septic shock, a life threatening complication of pneumonia and thus he was transferred in an ambulance to Noida, a 7 hour journey by road. During the transportation, the boy did not receive the required medical care and was pronounced dead on arrival to Noida. Post mortem established sepsis from pneumonia as a cause of death.

This tragedy was absolutely preventable and was a result of a gross and utter negligence on behalf of the school authorities in recognizing the seriousness of Shaan’s medical condition. Moreover, the school authorities failed to utilize its own medical facilities and those in and around Nainital town to be made available to the ailing boy. They also failed to update the boy’s mother about his critical condition until he was bought to Bomaby hospital in Haldwani in a near comatose state.

Shaan was the only child of a single mother, Ms. Neena Shrestha, who works in the World Bank, Kathmandu. Since this incident, Shaan’s mother has filed an FIR in the Noida police station for death of her boy due to medical negligence. She has also met with the Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. Sushil Koirala to urge Prime Minister Modi at the recently concluded 18th SAARC Summit hosted in Kathmandu, to ensure prompt and fair investigation into the incident.

The Sherwood College alumni has staged several peaceful protests in New Delhi and Nainital to seek justice for Shaan and dismissal of the current principal.

This is not the first incident where such a tragedy has occurred, in another case of gross negligence two students died riding pillion on a tractor 4 years ago, while on a school excursion. The reason for putting these young students on such an unconventional mode of transportation was an attempt to save money, while giving no thought to safety or security, ultimately leading to these deaths. It must be noted here that, the teachers who were in-charge of those boys were travelling comfortably in an SUV ahead of them.

The current administration of the school is headed by Mr. Amandeep Singh Sandhu, who took charge in 2004. Ever since then, we alumni have heard of rampant corruption that has seeped into the management of the school. Financial fraud, beating up of students by the Principle to the extent of being threatened with a firearm in the school premises, by Mr. Sandhu himself. Staff members have been physically assaulted within the confines of the school, often times in the presence of their students, till they forcibly quit. The school was in the media glare this year too, prior to Shaan’s death, when a student of class 4 complained of sexual molestation.

In light of the précised facts mentioned above, we are collectively seeking a full and fair enquiry into the death of Shaan Prajapati as well as an immediate dismissal of the present management of the school. We seek your assistance in bringing our petition to the urgent notice of the Cabinet Minister for Human Resource Development to ensure a prompt and fair response to our appeal. For such to happen, we believe, that is paramount that the Principal be removed immediately from his post to ensure a free and fair enquiry.

Sherwood College, with its illustrious history of nearly 150 years has made significant contributions to the Indian armed forces as well as the Indian civil services and judiciary. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention some of our more eminent alumni who have made these contributions.

Armed Forces

- Field Marshal S.H.F.J Manekshaw, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan. One of only two Field Marshals of independent India

- Param Vir Chakra Major Som Nath Sharma. India’s first Param Vir Chakra

- Brig. S.P.S Shrikent, Mahavir Chakra

- Captain Pratap Singh, Mahavir Chakra

- General Vishwa Nath Sharma, PVSM, former Chief of Army Staff

- Lt. Gen. G.S. Rawat, former Vice- Chief of Army Staff

- Lt. Gen. Ata Hasnain, Military secretary of Indian Army

- Air Marshal Yeshwant Rao Rane

- Air Vice Marshal Michael McMohan, Indian Air Force

Civil Service/Judiciary

- A.N. Kidwai, Former Governor of Bihar

- Justice Ravi Dhawan, Former Chief Justice of Patna High Court

- Salman Haider, Former Foreign Secretary

- F.C. Badhwar, OBE, Padma Vibhushan and the first chairman of the railway board

We only hope that the long legacy bestowed upon us by these and countless other alumni are not permanently marred by a corrupt and tyrannical school administration led by an unscrupulous principal.

We look forward to your prompt response.


(Please find appended signatories to the above petition)

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