Kolkata: A shocking video footage of a private tutor mercilessly beating a three-and-a-half-year-old child here sparked outrage across the country Wednesday.
The clippings broadcast by television channels from the incident at Lake Town in northeastern Kolkata showed the child falling to the ground as the woman teacher forcefully kicked him twice on his chest.
The horrified child, a nursery class student in a reputed English medium school, was also slapped and blows rained on him as he was thrown on to the bed and pinned down.
The child's mother lodged a police complaint, but the accused is untraceable.
In the complaint filed at the Lake Town police station, the toddler's mother alleged the victim sustained injuries all over the body after being brutally tortured by the teacher Wednesday.
"My son was bleeding and having chest pain. From the CCTV footage, one can see that my child was begging for mercy but she did not pay any heed and went on assaulting him," the complaint alleged.
"He has gone mute and is mentally traumatised.
"The entire family is shocked at the barbaric act of the accused person which has sent a negative message to the civilised society," the mother said in the complaint.
She later told media persons the teacher Pooja Singh had been coming to her residence for three days to give private tuition to the child.
"But my child felt so terrorised by the teacher that he did not study under her tutelage for the first two days. So today (Wednesday), she told me to step outside the room. The teacher said she would try to coach him.
"Then she bolted the door from inside. From the hall, I could hear my boy crying. I felt, may be she is giving him some light beating. But then I heard the child's shrill cries.
"I switched on the CCTV camera and in the live footage, saw the teacher brutally and mercilessly assaulting my son. Then I saw her checking the wardrobe and other belongings in the room for reasons best known to her."
When confronted, the tutor begged to be let off and is now untraceable.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bidhan Nagar Commissionerate, Debasish Dhar said there is no separate law or section for private or government tutors.
"We will see the relevant acts and take whatever punitive action is permitted by law," he said.
Educationists unequivocally condemned the incident and questioned the need to engage a private tutor for the child.
"I feel a small child doesn't need a private tutor. The mother should have guided him herself. They should have carefully checked the teacher's background when the child was feeling traumatised from the outset," said Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan primary section principal Ranu Biswas.
"The child should be immediately counselled. The accused also needs psychological counselling," said Anjana Grace Biswas, headmistress, junior section, La Martiniere for Girls.
Chairperson of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Ashokendu Sengupta visited the family and assured all help.