A case has been registered against the principal of a school in Andhra Pradesh's Vizag district after he was filmed subjecting corporal punishment to a group of students, a senior government official told NDTV.
PV Ramesh, Special Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, said that action against the school principal -- who also has been placed under suspension -- was taken after an internal inquiry revealed "torture and violence" against the children.
The video of the act was filmed secretly by another student and shared with NDTV by a child rights activist.
In the video, a man dressed in a white shirt and grey pants can be seen caning a young boy, while two others look on. The video was taken at Bhashyam school in Anakapalle, which is around 25 kilometres from Visakhapatnam.
After due enquiry by DEO, the perpetrator of crime - torture and violence against a juvenile- Mr Seshagiri Rao, Principal of Bhashyam school, Anakapalle, has been placed under suspension & criminal case has been registered in Anakapalli PS. @AndhraPradeshCM- PV Ramesh (@RameshPV2010) February 6, 2020
The incident is a shocking reminder that corporal punishment continues to be routine matter, particularly at some private corporate schools and colleges where there is pressure to perform and excel. Such institutions report both a high success rate in competitive exams and an alarmingly high number of suicides.
Corporal punishment in schools and physical and mental abuse of students is banned by the Indian government but examples of such brutal behaviour continue to surface with disturbing regularity.
Last month a Class II student from Kerala's Kottayam district was caned allegedly by his teacher for not being able to read a textbook. A few days before that a woman teacher allegedly thrashed as many as 29 girl students in a government-run school in Madhya Pradesh's Sagar district.
In October last year a Class X student was caned in Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu, leaving vicious and bloody marks on his torso, for not completing his holiday homework.
Psychologists fear the effect of violence on the minds of students, who could resort to similarly brutal methods to get results when they grow up.
According to Union Ministry of Women and Child Development guidelines, teachers found violating the ban on corporal punishment could face a minimum of a year in jail and/or a fine of Rs 50,000 and prison terms of up to three years (with a fine of Rs 25,000) for repeated violations.
Principals and heads of schools are supposed to be responsible in implementing this ban. A child rights cell, where children can lodge complaints, is also supposed to be set up.