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Beaten up in school, boy in hospital

- Child’s grandmother lodges FIR against three teachers, accuses them of assault in hostel

The family of an eight-year-old boy lodged an FIR against his schoolteachers on Monday, several hours after they allegedly beat him up for sneaking out of the hostel attached to the school in Lakhisarai.

Vicky Kumar, the eight-year-old lower kindergarten student of St Paul International Public School in Lakhisarai, escaped from the hostel on Wednesday. When he returned on Saturday night, teachers of the private school, around 130km east of Patna, allegedly beat him up. The boy was admitted to a hospital in the district on Monday morning in a serious condition after the family members reached the school. Other students at the hostels informed the family members on Sunday.

After admitting him in the hospital, Vicky’s grandmother informed the Medni Chowki police station.

His condition is stable now.

Lakhisarai superintendent of police Ashok Kumar said the victim’s grandmother, Bhudo Devi, lodged an FIR with the Medni Chowk police station on Monday, accusing the schoolteachers of confining Vicky to a room late on Saturday night and beating him black and blue.

Police launched a hunt for three teachers, who are absconding.

“Three teachers of the school, including principal Binod Kumar, have been made accused. I have asked the station house officer concerned to verify the allegations and take suitable action against the accused,” Ashok told The Telegraph.

According to the FIR, Vicky had escaped from the school hostel to attend a relative’s wedding in Munger, his home district.

Vicky is from Kutulpur village, around 30km away from the school. It was not the first time that Vicky escaped from the school, where he was admitted around a fortnight ago.

“When he returned to the hostel on Saturday, one of the teachers, Subodh Kumar, got infuriated and thrashed him black and blue,” the complainant said.

Two other teachers later joined Subodh, and confined the boy to a room in the hostel. “Vicky cried for help but nobody came to his rescue, as the teachers had warned everyone of stern action,” the complainant said in the FIR.

The police, after being informed of the incident, visited the school on Monday to inquire about the incident.

The team was headed by Medni Chowki station house officer Baleshwar Rai.

“Statements of some of the hostel boarders and employees at the institution have been recorded,” Rai said, adding that both the teachers and the principal were evading arrest.

He added that the teachers have been booked under sections 341 (wrong restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with an intent to provoke) of the Indian Penal Code. “Raids were conducted to apprehend the accused who are absconding since the incident,” he said.

Efforts to contact the principal proved futile and other employees also refused to comment. The school at Medni Chowk has 200 and odd students. Of them, 20 stay in hostel and are charged Rs 1,800 every month.

Preliminary investigation revealed that Vicky, who is originally from Kutulpur village in neighbouring Munger district, was admitted to the St Paul International Public School a fortnight ago. Admitted to lower kindergarten — on the basis of his educational background instead of age as is the case in urban areas — Vicky had escaped from the hostel twice since.

“The hostel in-charge, Subodh, became furious after Vicky disappeared for the third time and beat him up,” an investigating officer said.

Sources said Vicky’s father works as a labourer outside the state. On being informed on Sunday, the family members admitted him to hospital.

A relative, who requested not to be named, said: “It took more than 24 hours for us to reach the school hostel. Corporal punishment is banned in schools and those involved in violating the rules should be punished for the unlawful offence. It’s true that he had disappeared from the school without any notice, but he should not have been assaulted such an inhumane manner.’