At Saki Naka school, discipline clashes with religion | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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At Saki Naka school, discipline clashes with religion

mumbai Updated: Jan 06, 2010 01:16 IST
HT Correspondent

Keeping up with his Saki Naka school’s discipline cost a student a lock of hair he had grown for religious reasons.

According to the Saki Naka police, Parvesh Dubey (14), a class 8 student at St Jude’s High School, had grown a lock of hair for religious reasons. The school authorities had asked him to get it cut, saying it was against the school’s rules.

“On Tuesday morning, Parvesh’s class teacher saw he had not got his hair cut despite repeated warnings and sent him to the principal’s office. In the office, the principal, Frank Fernandez, picked up a pair of scissors on his desk and snipped it off after slapping Pravesh for indiscipline,” said Narsinh Sherkhane, assistant commissioner of police from the Saki Naka police station.

Parvesh went home and told his brother Vivek about it.

Word spread in the locality and soon, Parvesh’s father Shivkumar Dubey, accompanied by a mob of local Bajrang Dal activists, reached the school and demanded to see Fernandez.

When they were not allowed in, they went to the Saki Naka police and demanded Fernandez be arrested. “My son has weak vision and we had prayed to our local deity, promising we would not get his braid cut till his vision was restored. The school authorities have hurt our sentiments by doing this,” said Shivkumar.

At the police station, Fernandez said any form of ornamentation, including pigtails, earrings and bindis was forbidden in the school, and that he was merely enforcing discipline.

“An offence has been registered against Fernandez for insulting religious sentiments and assault, but no arrests have been made yet. The matter is under inquiry,” Sherkhane said.