“Corporal punishment and group clashes are not new in private schools in Namakkal district”

Relatives of a 16-year-old student who died in a private school hostel in Namakkal, insisted on watching the video recording of the autopsy done in Salem Government Hospital on Sunday before accepting his body.

After getting a copy of the video and viewing it, they collected the body of M. Mohanraj and took it to his native village – Magudanchavadi near Ernapuram, Salem district – around 1.30 p.m. “We were informed that the doctor’s report would be ready after the chemical test in four days to confirm whether the death was murder or suicide,” the relatives added.

The correspondent, hostel warden and a 16-year-old fellow student have been arrested in connection with the suspected suicide.

“Corporal punishment and group clashes are not new in private schools in the district,” says M. Harikrishnan, elder brother of Mohanraj.

Harikrishnan, who is now doing first-year MBBS in Madras Medical College, also passed out of the same school. 

Waiting outside the mortuary of the hospital in Salem with his father, he recalled that there were many inhuman incidents in the school.  Had the management put an end to the group clashes among students by properly monitoring, my brother may not have died,” M. Harikrishnan said.

“We wanted to expose the ill-treatment of students in these renowned ‘super-schools’ but were not able to.”

While mobile phones were not allowed in the school, the students had to depend on public telephones under staff supervision. Students could speak to parents from public phone only once in four or six weeks, Harikrishnan said.

His father C. Maarimuthu (40), an advocate, said Mohanraj spoke to them two days before he died. “He did not, or could not, share the problems he faced in school,” said Maarimuthu. 

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