The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Thursday ordered the Antonio D’Silva School, Dadar to not let allegations of corporal punishment against its teachers affect school’s functioning. The commission also directed the police to submit a status report on the progress of the investigation.
“The school should not remain closed on account of the incident, and all classes must have teachers. As per the Right to Education Act, schools cannot deprive children of education even for a day,’’ said the commission, comprising Ujwal Uke, acting chairman, and secretary AN Tripathi. The school and parents have been asked to submit affidavits. The next hearing on the case is scheduled for the first week of April.
Last week, three teachers punished three students by allegedly tying their hands with chains, parading them around the school and locking them in the school toilet for few minutes. The children’s parents filed an FIR with the Shivaji Park police, and a school teacher was suspended pending inquiry.
Sunil Pawar, investigation officer, Shivaji Park police station, told the commission that the third teacher has been absent from the school for two days. “An injury mark on the boy’s stomach shows he was hit with a cane. We suspect it was the third teacher. However, we did not recover a cane while inspecting the school,” he said.
The school’s lawyer said, “We suspect that politicians are targeting the school because they were denied admission last year. The parent did not make any formal written complaint with the school before going to the police.”
However, the commission stated that parents were right in approaching the police since the vice-principal was allegedly involved in the incident. The school has now decided to conduct an internal inquiry using an outside interrogator by Tuesday.