On Thursday, 13 students of a government primary school in Pali village in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu suffered severe injuries after their class teacher burned camphor powder on their feet to punish them for failing to answer questions during the inspection of an Assistant Education Officer (AEO).
According to a senior police officer, Vaijayanti Mala, the teacher, initiated the punishment after she reportedly faced flak from a senior education department official during an inspection held at the school on June 7.
“The officer from the department had visited the school and had an interaction with students. The officer had reportedly scolded Mala after her students failed to answer some questions the officer had asked. This had made her so furious that made her punish most of the students in her class,” said the officer.
N Elango, District Education Officer (Elementary) denied reports of the inspection.
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“There was no such inspection. She punished the students for failing to answer some questions that she had given them as homework the previous day. The school had a total of 51 students and the 13 students who were punished were all studying in fourth and fifth classes. Police has summoned her today for questioning,” he said.
Out of the 13 students who had undergone the bizarre punishment, nine suffered severe injuries.
“Four students had escaped from the burn injuries probably as she failed to set the camphor powder on fire,” the police officer said.
S Mars, Chief Educational Officer of Villupuram said Mala has been suspended by the department.