TIRUVANNAMALAI: A sweeper working in a hostel of Most Backward Class and Minorities Welfare Department School at Sathanur in Tiruvannamalai has been handed over to the police on Monday for inflicting burns on the hands of six students.
On Monday, two students - K Bharath and M Naveen, studying in Class X - and their parents approached the officials of the Backward Class, Most Backward Class and Minorities Welfare Department to complaint against the sweeper, Murugan, who has been working under consolidated pay since November 2014.
But the officials shrugged and took no action on the complaint, they claimed. Later, the parents took the issue to the Collector, A Gnanasekaran.
The Collector immediately directed P Ramesh, Superintendent of BC, MBC and Minorities Welfare Department, to conduct an inquiry into the incident in the hostel, where around 50 students studying in Classes VI to XII are residing.
Preliminary inquiries revealed that on Saturday morning, a student Prakash, sharing a room with six other students told Murugan that `300 was missing from his belongings. The hostel warder, Kumar, was not present at that time.
Murugan, wanting to find out the culprit, made the other students in the room promise that they did not steal the money by placing camphor on their palms and lighting it. Prakash’s roommates - R Venkatesan and A Parthiban of Class IX, K Jayasuriya of Class XII and Bharath, Naveen and S Sathish of Class X were forced to undergo this torture to prove their innocence.
“We inquired of the students involved in the incident. We also interrogated the sweeper, who admitted that he lit the camphor on the students’ hands to bring out the truth,” said Ramesh.
The Collector then directed officials to hand over Murugan to cops police and instructed them to register a case.
Ramesh said that the department has initiated disciplinary action against warder C Kumar also under 17 (b) (Procedure to be followed to impose major penalties) of the Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules and they were inquiring why Kumar did not inform his superiors about the incident at the earliest.
Sources, however, said that the warder had been deployed to man the department’s stall put up at the summer festival in Jamunamaruthur on Saturday. Apart from this, he is also the in-charge warder for the government polytechnic’s hostel in Tharapattu.
“We will conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident and take further course of action against the warder,” Ramesh added.