Saturday, July 24, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Principal beats dalit students in UP school

Principal beats dalit students in UP school
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: July 24, 2010 00:28 IST

Etawah, UP: Five dalit students at Navoday Vidyalay in Uttar
Pradesh's Etawah district were badly beaten on Friday by the school
Principal and four other teachers for carrying mobile inside the

Among them, 16-year-old-Rakesh, a student of class 12th, who was badly
injured in the incident, has been rushed to Lucknow for treatment.

Rakesh and his friends were dragged inside a room and thrashed, Rakesh
was hit in the groin while fellow student Amit's head was tonsured.

Now, questions are being asked whether this was a case of corporal
punishment or upper caste teachers beating dalit students?

The punishment was so severe that most senior students have now gone
on hunger strike against the school establishment.

"Our principal and four teachers have beaten us without any reason, in
a room," said Vikas, student of 8th standard.

Junior students are taking their meals but the rest are not.

"It was a trivial issue, they found a mobile on us, there were seven
people with the principal and they threw us on the floor and beat us,"
said another student Dharmendra.

"Our history teacher was there, the chemistry teacher was there, the
political science teacher too was there, all of them beat us," said
Ankit, a student.

The principal does not deny beating the student, but says that the
severity of the punishment handed out is being exaggerated by the

Some parents allege that the staff at the school would deliberately
pick dalit students and punish them.

"Authorities here discriminate against dalit students," said Mahavir, parent.

"This is true that we confiscated a mobile. The student threatened the
teacher. So we did thrash him. Now, we have suspended him and sent him
to Lucknow," said S K Tiwari, Principal.

The district administration has now stepped in and the matter is now
being reported to the District Magistrate.

"We got this information which is why I came here. The principal is
denying all these allegations. But I will submit my report to the DM;
the SDM has tried to convince students to end their hunger strike,"
said Gyan Prakash, District Inspector of Schools.

Cases of Corporal punishment is most schools in villages practically
go unnoticed but this strike by students against their principal and
teachers for the alleged atrocities has managed to draw the attention
of the district administration and might lead to stern action.

Story first published: July 24, 2010 00:14 IST

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