Bhopal, Jan 26: There is a ban on corporal punishment. Despite the ruling, every now and then incidents of teachers' mercilessly beating children in schools have come to light from different parts of the country.
A shocking case of corporal punishment with a twist has been reported from a school in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. According to a report by Hindustan Times, a class six girl student of a school in MP's Jhabua district was allegedly slapped 168 times by her classmates for not completing her homework.
The students slapped the girl after one of their teachers asked them to do so. The teacher, Manoj Verma, himself has shamelessly admitted to his crime.
The incident took place at Navoday school in Thandla town of the state. The father of the victim has filed a police complaint against Verma on Wednesday.
The girl told the police that she had to go through the ordeal as she failed to finish her homework. The victim added that she had taken leave due to an illness and thus failed to do her assignments.
"This made the teacher angry, and he instructed my 14 classmates to slap me twice every day until the assignment was finished," the student said in her complaint. As the student took six days--from January 11 to 16--to finish her homework, thus she ended up being slapped 168 times by her friends.
When confronted about the incident, Verma said to have justified the punishment. According to reports, the teacher told the girl's father that the Right to Education Act (RTE) forbids corporal punishment by teachers, but does not prevent other students from doing so.
Shiv Sagar, the school's principal, told the girl's father that it was a "friendly punishment, where the classmates did not hit her hard, so she could perform better in the future."
Police told reporters that the student was sent for a medical examination. District collector Ashish Saxena told Hindustan Times that he was told of the incident. "I shall wait for the police to conclude their inquiry before taking appropriate action."
As per law, corporal punishment is prohibited under Section 17 of the RTE and has been incorporated as part of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act which lists a three-year jail term for the accused teacher.