The stabbing to death of a government school teacher by two of his students in Delhi is too shocking to describe in words. Mukesh Kumar had made the “mistake” of informing the parents of the two +2 students that they were not attending classes. One of them was rusticated for want of attendance and other attendant reasons and the other was on the verge of getting rusticated. It was a vendetta killing, captured by a closed-circuit television camera installed on the school premises. It is a serious situation when teachers feel threatened and intimidated by their students. The incident is a measure of the deterioration in teacher-student relations in the whole country.
The teachers are naturally enough worried and they have publicly demonstrated demanding security. On its part, the government has tried to mitigate the hard feelings by awarding a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family of the slain teacher. One of the alleged killers is above 18 while the other is a minor. It is also a pointer to the fact that juveniles are increasingly turning to crime. In fact, there have been demands that the maximum age of juveniles should be brought down from 18 to 16 following the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case in which one of the guilty was a juvenile who got away with the maximum punishment of three years. In the instant case, the teacher’s murder was executed in a planned manner. Therefore, the culprits deserve no mercy. The Lok Sabha had passed a Bill whereby the maximum age of juveniles will be 16, not 18, in the case of those who commit heinous crimes like rape and murder.
The logic is that if a man can commit rape, he can as well face the consequences of the crime. In many countries, including the US, anyone who commits a heinous crime is considered as an adult and treated as such. While the law needs to be tightened, a relook at teacher-student-parent relations is also called for to prevent such incidents.