An incident of eve-teasing in the government senior secondary school of Hari Naon village in the district on Saturday stopped short of boiling into a clash between upper castes and the Dalits.
For the past two days, a police team from Kotkapura Sadar are at the gates before the school opens, and back before the closing time, to ensure peace and protection. The school gates are kept shut since the incident, and no outsider can get in during school hours.
On Tuesday, an upper caste boy of Class 11 reportedly passed a remark against a Dalit girl in Class 10 in the school. The principal sorted out the matter the next day. "I made the boy apologise to the girl," said school principal Neena Kaura.
On Thursday, however, the incident almost took a violent turn when a large group from the girl's community dragged the boy out of a bus packed with students being taken to the Red Ribbon train in Faridkot. The boy saved his life by running into a shop and shutting himself inside.
The mob of 100 people would have lynched the boy, said an eyewitness. The boy's community got to know about it and gathered in force. "The school authorities called the police, and had they not arrived in time, there could have been a bloody clash between the groups," the witness added.
"After the boy's apologising, the parties had made peace until a group got enraged," said a villager. "It could have approached the police. The girl's family threatened to beat up the boy in the school."
"The boy has been expelled from the school," said principal Neena Kaura. "We have tried our best to maintain discipline in the school."
On Thursday, the principal had done well to control the situation, and for the past two days, ensured that police were at the gates. "Nobody will be allowed to disturb peace," said Amarjeet Singh Kular, station house officer of Kotkapura Sadar. "Nobody has approached the police to register a complaint officially."