TAMIL NADU

Panel holds Vellammal school teachers guilty

Chennai June 26. A fact-finding committee, constituted by the Tamil Nadu Child Rights Protection Network to enquire into the alleged suicide of Ramu Abhinav, student of the Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School has alleged that the school and three of its teachers were guilty. They have also recommended that the guilty be charged under Sections 305, 323 and 109 of IPC.

The team which conducted an enquiry between June 13 and 24 spoke to Abhinav's parents, former and present students of the school, its teachers and authorities, and Government officials. After investigation, the committee, headed by Prabu, coordinator, Human Rights Foundation, concluded that the ``suicide was caused by the torture meted out to the student by three teachers of the school''. The school had a reputation for inflicting severe punishment on children by the management and some teachers, the report indicates. ``It is said the management was not only fully aware of the unbridled use of corporal punishment, but also encouraged it.'' Temporary withdrawal of recognition for the school must be immediate and the management must be taken over by the Government, the committee has recommended. It also called on the Education department to take responsibility and suggested that as a measure of reparation, the school should pay a compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs to the victim's parents.

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