Four students of Uttar Pradesh Sainik School have been arrested and sent to a juvenile home for allegedly smearing colour on Chief Minister Mayawati’s posters here during Holi.

The four, who are appearing for their XII board exams, were arrested on Holi night on charges of damaging public property and a case had been lodged against them under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

They have beet sent to a reformatory home for juveniles, official sources said on Wednesday.

While police claimed that the students were caught damaging the public property, school authorities alleged that the police was settling scores. “It doesn’t seem that our students would do such an act,” school spokesman K.K. Tiwari said.

He said that on Holi night the students had gone out of the hostel to purchase some medicine. “While they were returning back, the students were stopped by police, who alleged that they had damaged posters of the Chief Minister and booked them on charges of damaging public property.”

“Why would these students, who are meritorious and who have passed their high school examination with more than 85 per cent marks indulge in such activity? They are being framed by police,” the father of a student alleged. “With board examinations going on, our children are brought to school from juvenile home to appear in the examination. They are being treated like murderers,” the father alleged.

The bail application of the four students would be heard in a juvenile court on Wednesday.