Days after an incident in a Jalandhar school where a dalit student of class 8th was allegedly forced to drink water mixed with urine by other boys, one of the teachers was booked on Tuesday under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) ACT 1989 as well as relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) following visit by a team of Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission.
After the incident on August 3 at St. Joseph’s Boys’ Convent School, Defence Colony, the victim, Mehar Sidhu, had tried to kill himself by jumping off the third storey of his house. He sustained multiple fractures in his legs and arms and is currently in hospital.
Raj Kumar Hans, a member of the commission, visited the school on Monday and spoke to the staff members before directing the police to submit a report by August 29.
According to the FIR, registered on the statement of Pooja, the boy’s mother, Mehar was made to drink urine mixed with water by some of the students of his class but the teacher did not take any action and instead slapped the victim and warned that he would be expelled from the school.
Pooja said she was called to the school by the class teacher, Shriki Sharma and told that her son was involved in mischievous acts and that he would be expelled from the school if he did not mend his ways. “She insulted my son and me in front of all and used caste slur following which my son attempted suicide,” Pooja said in her statement to the police.
“My son told me that when he went to the washroom in the school, some boys mixed urine in his water bottle. And when he drank the same water, all of them started laughing and mocking him. When he went to his class teacher with a complaint, she slapped him instead of taking action against the culprits,” said the mother.
She said Mehar was part of the cricket team of the academy owned by Harbhajan Singh and he was to go to Australia to play a tournament after two months.
It is learnt that among the culprit students, one is the child of a staff member.The school is run under Jalandhar Diocese. Father Peter of Jalandhar Bishop House, when contacted, said he was out of station and would take the details of the entire incident. Police had sent the water bottle for forensic examination.