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Rashmi Rekha Das

Authorities of a private school in Bhubaneswar allegedly locked up 34 students in a classroom over non-payment of tuition fees by their parents, triggering sharp reactions from different quarters.

The students were allegedly confined in the classroom of the school located at Ghatakia for five hours on Monday preventing them from having food, drink and going to the toilet.  

Coming down heavily on the school authorities, parents of the students on Tuesday staged a sit-in outside the school demanding stringent action against the concerned teachers.

According to sources, the pupils were confined in a classroom for five hours after their examinations got over at 9.30 am.  

Mother of a student, Anishka said, “My daughter appeared for examinations at 8.30 am. She was asked to come to a separate room after her periodic test was over at 9.30 am. She along with three other students in her class was taken to the room where students from other classes were kept. They were asked to maintain silence by keeping their fingers on their lips. They were not allowed to drink water or eat snacks. They were not even let to attend nature’s call. They were made sweat not allowing them to switch on the fans.”

Anishka’s mother further alleged “When kids requested to make phone calls to their parents, teachers said no to them. Upon being asked the reason behind confinement, teachers said ‘You were confined as your parents failed to deposit tuition fees on time’. The teacher’s statement hurt her very much.”

“Though we had already paid tuition fees online, they had some update issue for which it was not shown in their record. Whatever be the issue, they should come to us. They had no rights to torture our kids mentally and physically like this”, another parent said.

“Moreover, after torturing students, the school authorities gave a notice in the hands of students asking them to give it to your parents. This is not done. There is no point in sending notice after harassing students mentally and physically. There are other several ways to deal with it. ”, said a parent.

He also added saying “When we approached the Vice Principal of the school, we were taken aback to know that Vice Principal has no idea about the incident. And administrative officer Soumya Ranjan Panda said it’s our business matter.”

Meanwhile, the parents and guardians moved the Child Protection Committee in connection with the incident while the police team detained the school admin for interrogation. 

Condemning the incident, Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairperson Sandhyabati Pradhan said “This is a horrendous crime. The commission would probe the matter if a complaint is filed in this regard. If the school authorities are found guilty, stringent action will be taken against them.”

Reported by OTV's Niranjan Reddy

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