'Protect students from corporal punishment'

In the wake of the death of a 10-year-old girl Piya Chaudhary because of an injury given to her by her private school teacher human rights activists in Jaipur on Sunday demanded that the state government bring in stringent laws to protect students from corporal punishment.

Activists of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) raised the demand in an open letter to chief minister Ashok Gehlot demanding that the government introduce an act to deal with such issues.

Kavita Srivastava, PUCL general secretary, alleged that no stern action was taken by the police against the school owner in Piya’s case, who was beaten by her class teacher in Jhunjhunu two years ago for not completing her homework and sustained severe injury in one of eye.

The girl, whose vision in both eyes was later affected, died of cancer on November 17 after developing Neuroblastoma, a malignant tumour related to nerve tissues.

Meanwhile Piya’s family has said they would pursue a legal action against the teacher.
They want murder charges to be registered against the teacher. The family also alleged that the school administration despite promising to bear her medical expenses, did not do so.

Although on September 6 the family had withdrawn the case against Tagore Public School in Jhunjhunu when the administration promised to pay Rs 15 lakh as compensation, they alleged that only a part of the promised relief was paid.

“We have been trying to call them for the past one month, but they did not respond. Hence, we will also take legal advice to reopen the case against the school administration,” said her uncle Naveen Choudhary.

Piya was a student of Class 1 at Tagore School, Jhunjhunu. On July, 3, 2010 she was allegedly hit by her teacher in the eye with a copy book for not completing homework. A few days later, complications developed in her left eye. For the past two years, she was undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences for tumours. She was also operated upon eight times during this period.

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