SLSA refutes allegations of parent

ITANAGAR, Sep 4: The Sangay Lhaden Sports Academy (SLSA), under the Arunachal Pradesh Government, has issued a clarification a day after allegations were made by the parent of a rusticated student.
In its clarification, the SLSA authorities corrected that Metung Loham’s son and the six others who were rusticated, had not stolen two packets of Maggi noodles as claimed by Loham during a press conference on Tuesday, but had “stolen cartons of the same and other items from the owner of a private-run canteen attached to the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.”
According to the claims of the school, the owner of the canteen had “thought of lodging an FIR against the involved students, but due to initiative of the authority and viewing their future career, the authority prevented the owner of the canteen from lodging any complaint at the police station.”
On allegations that the school does not have CCTV footage or exact date of the students involved in the act of stealing, the school said that
the incident occurred on 17 February, 2019 and while students involved in the incident “did not appear (in the footage), the name of seven boys came out after detailed enquiry and one-on-one meetings with all the students.”
“The boys have reportedly accepted and confessed about the act in front of the authority as per office record,” the SLSA said.
Reportedly, a meeting was also convened the very next day on 18 February, 2019 and the decision to rusticate all the seven students in the next academic session 2019-20 was taken to avoid affecting their study and enable them to appear for the annual examination held in the month of March, 2019.
The SLSA said that it had also submitted detailed reports and replies to Loham, the Itanagar Child Welfare Committee and the Childline Itanagar on 5 July, 2019 on the matter.
Refuting claims that a new student was admitted after rusticating the seven students, the school authorities said that “it (new admission) was done by constituting a committee consisting of technical experts and academic teachers with previous sports excellence records,” adding that: “the principal has nothing to do with the selection of new students and admission process.”
Contradicting Lohum’s claims that she was kept in the dark about the rustication of her son for long, the SLSA administration said that “she was well-informed about the situation as she was intimated earlier when her son was caught stealing the mobile handset of a senior student.”
“In fact, the mother herself procured new mobile handset for that boy from whom her son has stolen the handset,” the school said.
Reiterating that the school administration had no ill intention while rusticating the seven students, the SLSA authorities reminded that “students may be rusticated from any school in case of the violation of the rules and regulations of the schools.”
“Parents of all the seven students, who were rusticated from the school, except Metung Loham have accepted that their boys have committed the mistake and were involved in the incident and accordingly transfer certificates were issued and received by them,” the SLSA said, adding: “Loham’s son is presently studying at Gyan Ganga School, Itanagar as learned from reliable sources.”
“As per the duly signed declaration by the students and parents at the time of admission in September 2016, the rusticated students have repeatedly violated the school rules,” it said, adding that “the authority has initiated action as deemed fit after viewing the reputation of the school and in the greater interest of other students of the school.”
The SLSA is the lone state-level sports school in Arunachal Pradesh, directly under the administrative control of the Directorate of Sports, and managed and run by the state’s Sports department under its own rules and regulations to produce sportspersons at par with other sports schools of the country.