A private school in the city locked up 19 students, some as young as five, for over an hour in a room over a delay in payment of fees and even tried to stop them from writing exams, police said on Sunday.
A case of illegal confinement and violation of child rights has been registered against the management of Saritha Vidya Nikethan in Hayathnagar.
“It was only after the parents cleared the dues, the principal allowed the students to write the examination,” inspector J Narender Goud, who got the children released, said.
Principal P Rajini Prabha on Saturday separated the 19 from others as they came in to appear in their annual examination, police said.
She put them in a room and locked it. But, one of the students managed to contact her family with the help of another parent who had come to pay the fee.
As the word spread, parents rushed to the school.
The parents alerted police and also AP Child Rights Association. Inspector Goud rushed to the school and got the students freed.
“If there is any issue of payment of school fee, the principal should inform us and not confine them to a room,” one of the parents, Janga Reddy, said.
The confinement of students was a gross violation of their rights and was illegal, child rights body president P Achyuta Rao said.
“Even though the school is collecting fee as high as Rs 75,000 from each student in the name of tuition, annual day celebrations, transportation and books, the education department is not taking any action,” Rao alleged.