In a shocking incident, a four-year-old child was locked up in a doghouse on the orders of his teacher as punishment for talking to friends in the UKG class of room of a nearby private school.
The incident, which allegedly happened on Thursday, came to light today as the parents with the support of local people protested before the private school, demanding immediate action against the principal.
As the protest went on for a while, police took into custody the principal, Sasikala. Police said she was being interrogated, and preliminary investigation was on.
The school, located at Kudpapanakunnu on the outskirts of the state capital, has classes from LKG to the Class 7.
According to the complaint lodged by the parents, the child was shut up in the kennel on the premises of a house, where the school is run, after releasing the dog from its confinement.
His elder sister, who also studies in the same school, happened to see her brother being detained in the kennel. Though she informed the principal of the plight of her little brother, she was allegedly threatened of serious consequences if the incident was reported to parents.
On reaching home, the girl, however, told her parents about the incident. The parents lodged a complaint with the local police and also intimated Childline workers, which led to action against the school principal.
The child himself confirmed of his harrowing experience while talking to local news channels. He also said that teachers used to subject the students to corporal punishment in the classroom.
Expressing shock at the incident, Social Welfare Minister M K Muneer said stern action would be taken against the perpetrators of cruelty towards the child. He also asked the Director of Public Insruction (DPI) to conduct a preliminary inquiry and submit the report soon.
State Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice J B Koshi said he had ordered an inquiry to collect details of the alleged incident, based on which further action would be initiated.
Child rights campaigners and social activists voiced serious concern over the incident and called for stern action, including shutting down of these kind of institutions, many of which are run without recognition.