At least six people were arrested for allegedly torturing children by tying them up to a tree and forcing them to smoke beedi inside a government school campus in Bengaluru, Karnataka, the police said.
Five minors are among those arrested, the police added.
Some students between the age group of 10-13 years of a Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)-run school in Whitefield Police Jurisdiction were allegedly frequently being bullied by a gang of six people inside the campus.
Video clips shot discreetly by locals surfaced recently which showed the brutality the children were subjected to last week.
In one clip, the children can be seen tied to a tree as the gang members force them to smoke beedis. In another clip, one of the accused can be seen beating around seven primary school students one-by-one with a stick.
The children were allegedly tortured if they refused to obey the commands given by the accused, officials said.
The accused also used to force the children to buy beedis from the nearby shops for them.
Most of the accused were working in nearby factories while some of them are students. One of the accused man has been sent to judicial custody while others were sent to the juvenile home and booked under various sections of the Juvenile Justice act and the Indian Penal Code.
Even the school administration was allegedly tight-lipped as the accused were locals living in nearby areas and had reportedly threatened the school of dire consequences if the matter was reported to the police.
However, some people living around the school discreetly shot videos of the torture on their mobile cameras and forwarded it to the former local corporator, S Srikant, who informed the police.
Parents of the students were also reportedly scared of the accused so they were hesitant to register a police complaint.
"The consumption of ganja (weed) in this area has increased manifold in recent times. It seems they used to consume ganja as well. Both the victims and the accused persons are from this area," said S Srikant.
Block Education Officer Bangalore South D Hanumantraya said, "Both the video clips were recorded on Saturday. The school was closed at 11:30 am. After that, around late noon, some students came to play (at the grounds) when the incident took place."
He, however, denied that any such incidents have taken place earlier.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Whitefield, D Devraj said, "We had got the information that people drink liquor inside the school campus during night so a police picket was set up there and patrolling was intensified. This incident happened during the middle of the day. We have taken measures to ensure that its not repeated."