The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Parents file torture case

An association of parents of Loreto Day School (Bowbazar) students on Saturday filed a complaint with the police alleging that students whose parents were protesting against the recent fee hike were being “targeted” for “harassment” by the school authorities.

Specifically, the Guardians’ Forum of Loreto Day School (Bowbazar), in its complaint, mentions that a Class II student was being “mentally tortured” because her mother, had protested against a recent fee hike on television.

In the police complaint, the forum has demanded action against the teachers concerned and has also said that it would approach the human rights commission if the police failed to take any action.

Additional officer-in-charge of Bowbazar police station Asim Kar Choudhury said he had received the complaint. “I will comment on the issue only after completing all inquiries,” he added.

According to the complaint, guardians of the school had demonstrated in front of the institution on August 30, an event that was covered by the electronic media.

During the demonstration, a TV news channel had interviewed the girl’s mother for her opinion on the fee hike. The response from the girl’s mother had been critical. Apparently, the complaint says, this was not appreciated by the school authorities.

The guardians’ forum has alleged that on September 2 the Class II student was made to stand for three hours in a corridor of the school as “punishment” for her mother’s protests before the media.

Again, the complaint says, on September 4, the girl was “mentally tortured”. Like other students, the Class II girl had worn coloured clothes to school for a Teacher’s Day eve celebration. But she was “humiliated” by some teachers and told that the dress she was wearing was “cheap” and “not worthy of the institution” she was studying in.

In fact, the complaint says, the girl was prevented from participating in a programme for which she had earlier been selected. According to the complaint, the girl, who lost her father some time ago, is timid and nervous by nature and the “treatment” by her teachers has “traumatised” her.

The school authorities refused to comment. Security personnel at the school’s gate told this reporter that the management has decided not to issue any statement on any issue relating to the agitation by guardians on the recent fee-hike.

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