Three teachers of a private school in Tamil Nadu were arrested for beating up a Class 9 student, police said Saturday. They were earlier suspended by the school authorities. The boy is undergoing treatment in a hospital.
"The three teachers have been arrested for beating the student. There is no complaint against them that they forced the student to drink his urine," a police official said.
The Sirumalar Higher Secondary School management suspended N Karuppaiah, S Sakthivel and Raja for beating the student after Chief Educational Officer Mallika conducted an inquiry at the school premises.
"Education department officials conducted an inquiry at our school today (Saturday). Three teachers have been suspended for beating the student. But the allegation that they forced the student to drink urine is false," U. Thangavel, headmaster of the school, said. The name of the student, a minor, has been withheld for legal reasons.
Speaking about her inquiry into the incident, Mallika said: "It is self-financed Tamil medium school with Classes 6 to 12. The school officials said that the incident happened Thursday night at the students's hostel during study time. The teachers had received a complaint about the boy that he had forced another student to take tobacco products."
The teachers got angry and punished the boy, she said.
Mallika said: "The boy left the hostel without telling anybody, leaving behind his bag. We found a packet of tobacco product in that."
While recommending the suspension of the three teachers to the school management, Mallika said a notice had been issued to the school as to why its recognition should not be cancelled.
Queried about the boy's version of the incident, she said: "I spoke to the boy over phone as he is now in Kumbakonam town. According to him, during the study time he was denied permission to go to the toilet and he had urinated in his pants and the teachers beat him."
"He did not allege that the teachers forced him to drink urine. I have asked the boy's parents to meet me Sunday along with the boy," Mallika added.
Thangavel said he was baffled about how the allegation of teachers asking the student to drink urine cropped up. He said the boy too had been changing his statements.
"Yesterday (Friday), he alleged that he was forced to drink urine by the three teachers. Today, he said he passed urine when the teachers beat him but did not drink it. It is not known whether the boy was tutored to say that the teachers forced him to drink his own urine," he said.
"His classmates and teachers do not say anything about the boy passing urine or the teachers forcing him to drink it," Thangavel said.
The boy's father T. Desinguraja, who lives near Kumbakonam, said: "The teachers beat my boy very badly. He is not able to lie down on his back. He is undergoing treatment. But my son did not drink urine."
A wood-cutter, Desinguraja himself is undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Kumbakonam after he fractured his leg.
"My son hitch-hiked from Perambalur and came here Friday. His hostel warden called us yesterday to check whether he had reached home," he said.