The administration of a private school in central Delhi allegedly locked up 16 nursery girl students in a basement for five hours over delay in payment of fee. The students were rescued by their parents on Monday.
The Delhi Police has registered a case of illegal confinement and cruelty to child against the management of Rabea Girls Public School, Chandni Chowk.
Multiple calls to school authorities, including the principal and chairman, went unanswered.
Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has set up an enquiry team and will visit the school on Wednesday, tweeted DCPCR member Anurag Kundu.
The police said they received a call on Monday from angry parents claiming that their children had been wrongfully confined in the school’s basement. In the complaint, the parents said that the girls were forced to sit on the floor in hot and humid conditions.
The parents claimed that the school administration refused to accept that the fees has been paid on time. Parents claimed that showed receipt of deposited fee to the school administration but the officials refused to admit their mistake.
“When I went to school to pick up my child, we were told by the teachers that the students are in the basement. When we asked why, they told us that they have been confined over non-payment of fees. We rushed to the basement and rescued the children. There was no ventilation in the room and my child was crying,” said Fatima Begun, a parent.
Around 50 parents staged a protest at the school and filed a police complaint.
“I dropped my daughter off at school around 7 a.m.When I came to pick her up at 12.30 p.m., I did not find her in her class room. I was informed by the school staff that my daughter has been locked up in the basement. I rushed to the basement where I found my daughter sitting on the floor. All children were confined in a small room under inhumane conditions with no fans and ventilation,” said Mohammad Asif, another parent.
A senior teacher of the school said that as per the rules, the school fee should be deposited by the 30th of every month. In case the fee is not deposited, the child will not be allowed to attend the classes, said the teacher.
“There was confusion over fee submission as the school was not informed by the school administration. It will be clarified with the accounts section. Some parents have not submitted a ‘teacher copy’ to the school and it created the confusion,” said the teacher.
An activity room: teacher
“It was not a basement room, it is an activity room where students play. The children were not confined,” she added.
“The allegations against the school management will be investigated. A case under IPC Section 342 and under Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, has been registered at the Hauz Qazi police station,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, DCP (Central).