New Delhi: Former Congress president and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi in a written letter on Thursday urged Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to pay compensation to the family of the schoolgirl who died after getting bitten by a snake in her classroom.

Condoling the death of 10-year-old Shehla Sherin, Gandhi said that the school’s “crumbling infrastructure” was the reason “a promising life was tragically cut short”, affirming that it needed urgent attention of the state government.

The incident occurred at 3:10 PM, according to her classmates, the snake was hiding inside a burrow of the classroom wall before it bit Shehla, the Class V student of the Sarvajana Higher Secondary School in Sulthan Bathery.

“I would like to draw your attention to the demise of Shehla Sherin, a Class V student of Sarvajana Higher Secondary School in Sulthan Bathery due to snakebite. The incident occurred when a snake hidden in the burrow of her classroom wall bit her. A promising life was tragically cut short at a place of learning,” Gandhi said in the letter.

“One of the oldest high schools in Sulthan Bathery, Sarvajana Higher Secondary School’s crumbling infrastructure requires the urgent attention of the state government. The absence of a conducive learning environment demoralises students and parents alike,” he added.

Subsequently, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja ordered an inquiry into the child’s death. She has also ordered a suspension of the doctor who attended and treated the patient at Bathery Taluk Hospital.

The classmates have blamed the school authorities for the delay in taking Sherin to the hospital that caused the venom to spread across her body and caused her demise.