In a bizarre and brutal instance of corporal punishment, a Std VIII student of Sacred Heart School in Kalyan had to be admitted to ICU after two of his PT teachers allegedly slapped, punched and kicked him because he did not stick to their ‘hairstyle’ code. The Titwala police have registered an FIR against the teachers and an enquiry has been initiated.
The incident took place around 8 am on Thursday morning. The 13-year-old student, Ulhasnagar resident Akshaan Jaisinghani was in his classroom, when two PT teachers of the school — identified as Mohit Ladhe and Shripad Bhosale entered. The duo allegedly slapped Akshaan, asking why his hair was so long. They also slapped three other students on the same pretext.
Akshaan later said that the two teachers, on their way out of the classroom after assaulting his classmates, delivered a parting blow to his head. One of them kicked him on the leg. Before long, the teenager’s head started swelling up. “Ladhe and Bhosale sirs grabbed me by the hair and hit me across the face many times. One sir kicked me on the thigh,” said Akshaan. Shocked and scared by the attack, Akshaan ran out of the classroom.
He related the ordeal to his parents. His father Anil suggested that he return to school and meet Albin Anthony, school administrator. To his dismay, Anthony told the boy not to protest against the assault or make an issue out of it, with the veiled threat: “Tumhe paas hona hai ki nahin? (Do you want to pass your exam or not?)”
Noticing a bump growing on Akshaan’s head where he had been hit, his worried parents admitted him to the government-run Central Hospital. The hospital’s management informed Titwala police of what had happened to the young boy. Two cops then arrived at the hospital and recorded Akshaan’s statement.
“We have booked the teachers under section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC. We have also submitted a report to the court asking for permission to add other sections. We will conduct a second medical examination of the student. We will take strict action on the teachers,” said Anil Kumbhare, superintendent of police, Thane (rural) district.
Akshaan’s father Anil said, “We are shocked. The teachers thrashed my son brutally for no reason. I complained to Sukhvinder Singh, inspector general of police (IGP) of the Konkan range, and SP Anil Kumbhare.” He added, “I called up the barber who gives haircuts to students of the school. He had told Anthony over the phone that the length of Akshaan’s hair was as per the school’s standard.”
Dr Jagdish Rohra, who treated Akshaan, said, “The patient was brought to my hospital. Somebody had slapped him. There was swelling inside his ear.” Akshaan’s medical report also confirmed that there was redness near his ear and swelling on his thigh.
The other side
“I am not aware about an FIR against the teachers. The police have not given us any intimation of such a complaint. I am aware of the student’s complaint but it is false. You can visit my school and meet me or the teachers,” said Anthony, school administrator.
“We were on routine supervision. We made an enquiry about his hair, which was standing straight. We never touched him. In his last exam, he was caught copying. We had only changed his seat. Now he is misguiding his parents,” said Mohit Ladhe, one of the two accused PT teachers.
“The student was copying. We changed his seat. He had got 3 out of 50 in Maths. Now he is diverting the matter by making false allegations against us,” said Shripad Bhosale, the other PT teacher.