Tamil Nadu

Teachers held for forcing Dalit students to clean toilets

The correspondent of an aided school and seven of its teachers, including six women, have been arrested following complaint of compelling Dalit students to clean the toilets of the school.

As the teachers of Hindu High School at Keezhapaththai Pandithankurichi near Kalakkad allegedly forced 17 Dalit students to clean the school toilets while sparing students from other communities, parents of the affected students staged a demonstration last week.

Subsequently, cadres of CPI and a few Dalit outfits submitted petitions to Collector M. Karunakaran on Monday, seeking action. . Meanwhile, Haridoss Keezha Vadakarai, father of one of the affected children, filed complaints with Kalakkad police, who registered a case against the correspondent of the school Solomon Jeba, headmistress Jayakumari, teachers Jacob alias Jesuvadiyan, Mary Sujithra, Helen Arul, Angeline Steffi, Agnes and Saroja under Section 341 of the Indian Penal Code (wrongful restraint), 374 (unlawful compulsory labour), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and Section 23 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (cruelty to children).

All of them were arrested on Wednesday evening and produced before the Judicial Magistrate, Nanguneri, Sundararajan at his residence.

The magistrate, while releasing them on bail, ordered that they should appear before the court at 4.45 p.m. on Thursday with their guarantors.

A senior police officer, who was privy to the investigation, said the teachers had not forced only the Dalit children to clean the toilets but made it a “general duty” for children from all communities studying in class from 6 to 8.

The police, however, refused to confirm the arrest and divulge their names. “They’ve been just asked to come to the Kalakkad police station for inquiry and not arrested,” said Navin, Inspector of Police (Special Branch), even after sources in the police confirmed the arrest.

When the reporters repeatedly contacted the Special Branch office for getting details about this arrest, a “statement” was issued shortly after 7 p.m. without the names of the teachers arrested in this case and the Sections invoked against them.

CPI, Dalit outfits had submitted petition to Collector to take action against them

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 9:31:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/teachers-held-for-forcing-dalit-students-to-clean-toilets/article7136306.ece

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