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Girl ‘assaulted’ by principal

- Parents say child was slapped repeatedly

Siliguri, July 11: The parents of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl have filed a police complaint against the principal of the school in which the child studies alleging that the woman had assaulted the girl.

Today around 8am, the child’s father, a resident of Siliguri, and his wife took the girl to her school like any other day. When they went to the school again around 11am to bring home their child, they found the girl in the principal’s office.

“The principal told us that my daughter had refused to sit in class and that is why she had mildly slapped her on the cheek. My daughter was kept her in the office for the rest of the school hours,” said the father, a businessman and a gym trainer.

He said after they reached home, they noticed the child had a cut on the lips, finger imprints on her cheeks and bruises on her neck and head.

“She had a cut on her lip and there was some bleeding too. She had finger imprints on her cheeks and bruises on the neck and head. She told us that the principal had slapped her repeatedly on the cheeks, pulled her by the water bottle strap that left a bruise on her neck,” he said.

“My daughter joined the school in pre-nursery last year and this year, she was promoted to nursery. She never liked going to school and often used to complain that the teachers would beat her up and scold her. Around three months back she had told us that a teacher had locked her up in the toilet. We had spoken to the principal about it and we were told that no such thing had happened.”

Today, the child was taken to Siliguri district hospital where a doctor at the emergency ward examined her.

“Since she has a cut on the lip and bruises, the doctor prescribed some medicines to prevent infection. We have lodged a complaint against the principal at Siliguri police station demanding stringent action against her. We will not send our daughter to that school anymore. We will get her enrolled in some other institution,” said the father.

The principal said the allegations were false.

“The girl’s parents always come to me with complains that the child is obstinate and refuses to study at home and does not want to come to school. I have always asked them to persuade her gently. Today, the girl kept crying and throwing tantrums after her parents left her in the school. She even threw her lunch all over the floor. I told her firmly to behave herself. When she refused to listen, I slapped her mildly on the cheek. She kept crying and I kept her in my office for the rest of the time. She drew, sang and even danced during the two hours that she spent in my office,” she said.

The private school is from pre-primary to Class IV and has over 400 students.

“When the girl’s parents came to take her home, I narrated the whole incident and told them that I had mildly slapped her on the cheek. Thirty minutes after they left, I received a call from the girl’s father accusing me of assaulting the child. The allegations that I slapped her repeatedly and pulled her by her water bottle strap are totally false,” the principal added.

O.G. Pal, the deputy commissioner of Siliguri metropolitan police, said: “We have received the complaint. Our officers are investigating the case.”