Indian teenager kills schoolmate to postpone exams

A man is seen with handcuffs in this April 11, 2007 file photo. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 08 November 2017
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Indian teenager kills schoolmate to postpone exams

NEW DELHI: India arrested a teenager Wednesday for allegedly slitting the throat of a seven-year-old schoolmate in hopes the murder would lead to an exam being postponed, federal investigators said.
The 16-year-old is accused of killing his young schoolmate in September at a smart private school near Delhi in an attempt to delay an impending test and parent-teacher meeting.
Police had initially detained a bus conductor over the murder, claiming he killed the boy after the young pupil resisted a sex attack.
But a spokesman for federal investigators said they had credible evidence against the “academically weak teenager, whose motive was to postpone the examination and a forthcoming parent-teacher meeting.”
“He admitted during questioning that he wanted to shut the school to defer the exams and meeting,” Central Bureau of Investigation spokesman R.K. Gaur told AFP.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, would be sent to a juvenile detention center until his trial for murder, he added.
Gaur said the bus conductor would remain in custody until cleared by a court of any wrongdoing.
The crime made national headlines and stoked concern among parents over safety in schools.
India’s swelling middle class has fueled the growth of private schools in a country where public education is under immense strain.
Much prestige is placed on academic achievement and children face intense pressure to score good grades. Experts say this has aggravated stress and mental illness among teenagers.
India, a nation of 1.25 billion, has the world’s highest rate of suicide. Students are particularly vulnerable.
Official figures show nearly 9,000 students committed suicide in 2015.
Health experts say many young people find it difficult to cope with the pressure to succeed and struggle to accept failure in examinations.


Europe, Japan send spacecraft on 7-year journey to Mercury

Updated 20 October 2018
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Europe, Japan send spacecraft on 7-year journey to Mercury

  • Once the spacecraft arrives in late 2025, it will release two probes that will independently investigate the planet

TOKYO: European and Japanese space agencies say an Ariane 5 rocket has successfully lifted a spacecraft into orbit for a joint mission to Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.
The European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency say the BepiColombo spacecraft successfully separated and was sent into orbit from French Guiana early Saturday to begin a seven-year journey to Mercury.
The mission is complicated by the intense gravity pull of the sun, forcing the spacecraft to take an elliptical path that involves two fly-bys of Venus and six of Mercury itself.
Once the spacecraft arrives in late 2025, it will release two probes that will independently investigate the surface and magnetic field of Mercury.