Tamil Nadu police arrested three teachers of a private school on Saturday for caning a Class 9 student, who has been admitted to a hospital.
The 14-year-old boy had initially claimed the teachers had forced him to drink his urine after he sought permission to go to the toilet. But he did not make any such allegation to a senior education department official who spoke to him.
The teachers of Agaram Seekur Sirumalar High School in Perambalur district, about 260 km south of Chennai, were suspended earlier in the day on the orders of district chief education officer KG Malliga, who visited the school for an inquiry.
According to Malliga, the teachers caned the boy around 8pm — during study hours — in the hostel on Thursday for chewing tobacco despite repeated warnings.
"The allegation that the boy was made to drink urine is false, but he was beaten up," she said. "The boy didn't allege that the teachers forced him to drink urine. I have asked the boy and his parents to meet me on Sunday."
Malliga said the Tamil medium school's correspondent (administrator) was issued a show-cause notice as to why the institute should not lose recognition. The school has been asked to respond within a week. After the thrashing, the boy fled to his village in neighbouring Thanjavur district, where he was admitted to a government hospital.
The boy's father, a woodcutter, said his son was unable to lie down on his back.