HYDERABAD:A day after a four-year-old nursery student was caned by his teacher, the teacher Swaroopa and principal Padmaja Raj of the Krishnaveni Talent School were arrested by Meerpet police.
According to the family, the Monday’s incident of corporal punishment was not a lone incident involving the child. “This was the third time. Earlier, the parents had even met the school authorities and asked them not to beat the child. But this time the injuries were bad. His back was bruised and an eye was hurt,” said S Illiah, the student’s uncle.
Earlier in the day, a group of teachers and students staged a protest in front of the School, demanding action. Facing the heat from police, media and parents, the management has reportedly told the parents that if they withdrew the case, both their children studying at the Krishnaveni Talent School would be given free education till class X.
Meanwhile, child rights NGO Balala Hakkula Sangham alleged that this was yet another case of management ‘torturing’ children over non-payment of fees. Achyuta Rao, from the NGO, said that irrespective of the reason for the punishment, police needed to take action and it was unlawful for schools to hurt children.
“We have also lodged a complaint with the Child Welfare Committee demanding the closure of the school,” Rao said. Illaih, meanwhile, refuted the claim that the fee of the students was pending. “Honestly, we don’t know for what reason the child was beaten up,” he added.
Recently, after a video of Gowtham Model School principal caning students went viral, Shalibanda police had booked him under Section 324 of IPC. A week before that, 14-year-old Sai Deepthi from a private school in Malkajgiri had committed suicide after being humiliated for not paying fees.
Meanwhile, the education department has not been able to do much in terms of taking action against violators.“We follow the procedure prescribed under GO MS 1 in instances of corporal punishment. If the issue is criminal in nature, the police take action. We can’t shut down schools where 500-600 students are studying,” G Kishan, director and commissioner, school education said.
Corporal punishment not a crime?
RTE Sec 17 (1) and (2), talks about corporal punishment, but its violation leads to disciplinary action. The only stringent action in this regard is Sec 75 of Juvenile Justice Act, which when proven, leads to six years of imprisonment.