Five days after 13-year old Atharva Gupta, a student of DAV Public School, Pakhowal Road, jumped off from the fifth floor of his school after being allegedly beaten by his teachers, the police on Tuesday booked the Principal along with four teachers after a complaint was filed by the parents. Atharva is battling for his life in the ICU of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) and is on ventilator support. His lower body has stopped responding and there are multiple blood clots near the spinal cord along with internal bleeding in stomach. Doctors say that he is in a extremely critical state.
Atul Gupta, father of the boy has alleged that he was beaten with hockey sticks and kicked in chest and stomach with shoes by teachers after he was caught ‘speaking’ with a girl in school premises on September 8. The parents submitted a written complaint to the police on Tuesday. After recording their statements an FIR was registered against the Principal SK Bhullar and four teachers including a Maths teacher and academic supervisor Gopal Das Thakur, PT teachers Naveen and Rajan and a female teacher Tejinder Kaur under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 325(causing grievous injuries) and 341(wrongful restraint) of the IPC and sections of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the Atharva’s father said, “I got a call from school authorities saying that he has met with an accident and is being rushed to DMCH. I enquired from a teacher about this, but she refused to answer and handed over the phone to Atharva who was still conscious. He asked me to come immediately. When I reached the hospital, he was speaking, lying on stretcher and his legs were moving. I asked him repeatedly what happened and he told that his teacher kicked him and trashed him with hockey sticks. He pleaded to the teacher to listen to his side of the story but they kept beating him. Doctors told me that he has not fallen from 4-5 feet but at least from the fifth floor of a building. Later, he was taken for a CT scan and he became unconscious due to internal bleeding.”
Gupta further said, “My son was beaten for speaking to a girl in a school, which is co-ed. His classmates have told us that a Maths teacher who is also their class supervisor kicked him. My son fell into his legs but he kicked him off. He was tortured and harassed and he finally jumped off from the fifth floor. Our first priority is that he should be out of danger.”
Captain of his school’s cricket team, Atharva according to some students, who requested anonymity, said that he is a bright boy and always scored 85-90% marks. He was allegedly ‘caught’ by teacher speaking and holding hand of a girl on September 8 following which entire incident happened. Denying all allegations made by the parents, Thakur said, “I did not touch him. I treated him as my own child. Some anti-social elements are threatening me and my family of dire consequences. If something happens to us, they will be responsible for it.”
The teacher also circulated a video denying all allegations on social networking sites and WhatsApp. He also alleged that some people plelted stones at his vehicle and his residence. The allegations have been shared with the Dugri police.