CHENNAI: A day after a mob thrashed a physical education teacher of Loyola Matriculation Higher Secondary School for reportedly reprimanding a businessman’s son for whistling in class, over 200 parents and teachers staged a stir near Kodambakkam bridge on Friday, seeking arrest of the attackers.
S Bhaskar Raj, the teacher, is now undergoing treatment for blood clot in the brain at a government hospital. “We protested yesterday as well, but the police refused to register an FIR against the offenders until night,” said S Nagineni, a parent who was among those protesting.
“We’ve left our jobs and come out here in support of the injured teacher and to ensure the safety of our children in future,” said Anandan Murugan, another parent.
The protest threw normal life out of gear in the area, with the entire stretch of Arcot Road remaining blocked from 10 am to noon, forcing motorists to take alternative routes. A few shopkeepers too downed shutters during the protest. “We closed our store as we feared they will come and create a ruckus here. I have never come across such a huge crowd, it was intimidating,” said Palani Kumar, a grocer.
After dispersing from the road, the crowd then headed to the school premises. City Police Commissioner S George visited the campus and assured of prompt action against the offenders. “We have already arrested 17 members of the gang and will investigate the matter further,” he told the protesting parents, adding that the force will be zero-tolerant to violence against teachers.
About two hours later after the Commissioner left, the school authorities held a press meet. “As demanded by the parents and teachers, the police have registered an FIR against Arulanandam, the father of the schoolboy, and his accomplices who were involved in the assault,” said Father Edward Selvaraj, one of the managing trustees of the school. “This must serve as a lesson to all others. They cannot just come and attack teachers just to show their superiority,” added another parent, echoing the sentiment that brought them to the streets on Friday.
Meanwhile, the footage from one of the several CCTV cameras installed on the premises helped the police identify the persons who assaulted the teacher.
As he arrived to pacify the protesting parents and teachers of the school, City Police Commissioner S George viewed the footage, copies of which were handed over to the local police on Thursday night. As part of its safety and security measures, the school has installed over 60 CCTV cameras, which helped identify the members of the mob. These measures won appreciation from the Commissioner himself. Sources said that two Deputy Commissioners, two Assistant Commissioners and eight Inspectors had been entrusted with the task of locating and arresting Arulanandam, the father of the boy.
Until evening, as many as 19 persons were arrested by the Kodambakkam police, who are investigating the case.