A class V student in Bihar’s East Champaran district was allegedly beaten up so badly by his school principal and teachers that he died within a few hours.
All that Gyan Ranjan, 11, had done was reply back to his teachers, police said.
The incident of corporal punishment took place at the Holy Mission Children’s Academy, a private residential school, in Rajepur block on Friday.
The child, from Sugari village in neighbouring Sitamarhi district, had joined the school only last month.
The death comes despite an eight-year-old Supreme Court order to state governments to ban corporal punishment, which activists say is a violation of child rights. Only a handful of states like Delhi and Andhra Pradesh have banned it.
With no such ban in place in Bihar, a high number of students have reported punishment at schools, according to a nationwide study released by the central government last year.
Two out of three children were victims of corporal punishment, the study released by the Women and Child Development ministry said, adding that Bihar was among the states where the rate of incidence was higher than other states.
In the latest case, police said they were looking for the school principal, Uday Kumar Sharan, and two teachers Manish Kumar and Amar Kumar. “The principal and the two teachers are absconding,” said DSP, Pakridayal, M.K. Anand. An FIR has been lodged against them.
“The school authorities initially termed the death as suicide. However, on police investigation it was found to be a case of murder,” the police officer said.
All students have deserted the school and left for home, district officials said.