At a time a video of two boys from Ulhasnagar being tonsured, stripped and paraded in the locality for allegedly stealing chakli from a shop has sparked an outrage, a similar incident that happened in Malwani last year has been wrapped up. In Malwani, two minors were allegedly stripped outside their tuition classes for not doing their homework. The police said the case has been “closed”. Last year in March, a video of two undressed minors crying outside their tuition class had gone viral. The Mumbai Police had taken suo-moto cognizance of the incident and booked two persons from the class on charges of “cruelty” and “corporal punishment” under the Juvenile Justice Act.
A year later, the case has been “closed” as the mother of one of the minors “pleaded” to the police and the court saying that the tutor had acted at her behest, a police officer said.
The 19-second video shot on the mobile phone of a local resident in Malwani’s gate number 5 area, showed how the two boys, aged eight and nine years, were humiliated. The boys were seen pleading near the door of the classroom asking to be let in.
Milind Khetle, the then senior police inspector of Malwani police station said: “The matter is old. I was transferred in October 2016. I don’t remember but the matter was concluded.” He refused to comment on not invoking the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) in the matter.
The two persons who had been reportedly booked were, Ganesh Nair, the tutor, and his sister-in-law, Saroj Nair. They had been charged under Sections 75 (Punishment for cruelty to child) and 82 (Corporal punishment) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
“I was arrested for three days shortly after the incident. I told the police that I only followed what a parent asked me to do. One of the minor’s mother was corroborating my plea. Now, the matter has been closed. In fact, those minors continued coming to my tuition classes and they are currently in their village as their school is closed for summer break,” said Nair.
Officers attached to Malwani police said that the mother of one of the boys was present at the time of the incident and she even told the court that Naik had acted on her instructions.
Nair said: “The nine and eight-year-old students who were shot in the video have been coming (for the classes) since the last three years. Their parents had complained to me saying that their children only play and do not study enough.”
“Both the students’ mothers had approached me and told me that I should teach them a lesson by disrobing them and making them feel ashamed by standing outside the classroom for the (people on the) street to see them. The mothers said that this will make them work harder.”
Nair claims that on the day of the incident, his sister-in-law Saroj was taking a class and she asked the two boys to take their clothes off and stand outside.
“Neither Saroj nor any of the mothers were arrested in connection with the incident,” he added. Nair’s classes have bee running for the past five years and he has about 70 students from nursery to junior college. “Despite the incident, the number of students have not reduced,” he said.
On Saturday, two boys in Ulhasnagar were stripped tonsured, garlanded with slippers and paraded in public allegedly by a shopkeeper after they ‘stole’ snacks from his shop.
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