Many prestigious public schools of the city are hiring detectives to spy on their students, if private detective agencies are to be believed.
According to these agencies, the schools want them to track the movements of the students whom they suspect of indulging in ‘undesirable’ activities. These students are the ones who are irregular at school and often reach home late after school.
"I have a few prestigious public schools as my clients and they want us to track the movements of students who do not reach home on time and are suspected of indulging in undesirable activities such as drug abuse," says Ashish Mathur of Trident Investigation Network.
Says Taralika Lahiri of National Detectives, "Generally the schools give us a list of suspect students who are irregular at school. These children often belong to rich families and are the types that like freaking out."
The detective agencies say this trend started only four to five months back; earlier they only had concerned parents approaching them to keep an eye on their children.
So, what prompted the schools to hire these detective agencies?
"The concern about a school’s reputation is growing now, what with some unsavory incidents involving the students in the past and the growing parental complaints about their children not reaching home on time after school," says Pradeep Sharma of Times Detectives Agency.
Have they found anything amiss about the conduct of the students? "On tracking the movements of suspect students, we found that students who told their parents they were at their friends’ place were actually freaking out at bars, pubs and cinema halls," says Mathur.
The agencies say it is the school management that approaches them and they send their reports to them. It’s the management who pays the bill, which is generally 20 to 40 thousands, depending on the number of students to be tracked and the period for which they are to be tracked. But do these schools keep the parents in the loop?
"It's between us and the management," says Sharma.