- Parents say children were kept in the basement from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm
- A case has been registered against the school authorities
- Children were thirsty and were suffering in the heat, a parent said
Around 16 school girls from kindergarten were allegedly locked up inside the basement of a Delhi school for not clearing their fees. The parents of the students from Rabea Girls' Public School in Hauz Qazi allege that children were confined in the basement from 7:30 am to about 12:30 pm in extreme heat. They were hungry and thirsty, but teachers didn't care, they alleged. The school headmistress has denied the allegations. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought a report in the matter.
Zia-Ud-Din, one of the parents, said, "Children were locked in the basement for not paying the fees. I had cleared the fees, despite that my child was punished. The children were thirsty and were suffering in the heat. Police helped us. Even after I showed the proof of fees clearance, the Principal was not apologetic or remorseful."
Another parent, Muhammad Khalid, said, "If fees are not cleared, why are you punishing the kids? The girls were crying constantly."
Denying the allegations, Farah Diba, headmistress of the school said that two teachers were given the responsibility to keep an eye on the children in the basement. She also said that the school uses the basement as a play area for the students.
"Basement is where the children play. There were two teachers keeping a watch on them. They usually sit on the ground, and the fan had gone for repair that day. The allegations are all false," said Ms Diba.
A case has been registered against the school authorities, the police said.
"We have registered a case under section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act. We are investigating the matter," police told news agency ANI.