The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Punished girl in trauma after 100 squats in sun

In yet another glaring instance of a teacher going out of his way to humiliate a student for a minor lapse, a girl student of Class VIII of a private Bengali-medium school in Thakurpukur was asked to perform 150 squats in the scorching sun of Friday afternoon as punishment for talking in class.

According to police, Tanya Sarkar, who studies in Vidya Niketan, a secondary school off Bakrahat Road, was humiliated in front of her classmates.

“She is known to be a chatterbox among her classmates, and like any other day she was exchanging pleasantries during class. Then all of a sudden she was summoned by her angry class teacher,” said an officer of Thakurpukur police station.

Sanjit Bose, the teacher, first scolded her in front of the class and then asked her to follow him outside. “When Bose was scolding her, Tanya did not react or show any remorse. This annoyed him and he asked her to come out of the classroom and perform squats while holding her ears,” the officer said.

While the 15-year-old was performing the squats, her friends were asked to keep count to humiliate her even more.

“After she finished performing about a hundred squats in the scorching sun, she fell ill and fainted. The school authorities tried to hush up the incident, but the news spread as the students told family members about it,” the officer said.

Once she regained consciousness, the school authorities informed her parents. “She suffered from dehydration and was taken to a local hospital. The humiliation she suffered in presence of the whole school contributed to her trauma. She has stopped talking since,” said Tanya’s father, Asit Sarkar.

Later, on the same day, the Sarkars lodged a complaint with the local police against Bose. “This is sheer callousness on the part of the teacher. How can he punish someone in this manner' We, as parents, will have to think a million times before we send our wards to this school in case this becomes a trend there,” Sarkar added.

Humayun Kabir, deputy superintendent of police (town), said the girl was admitted to hospital after her punishment in the scorching sun.

“We have already arrested Bose. Investigations are on and we are collecting evidence by talking to witnesses. He will certainly be prosecuted for his action,” Kabir said.

Later, guardians of students met the school authorities and voiced their concern over the incident.

“This is not done. Children can sometimes be a bit naughty, but that does not mean they will be dealt with in such a manner'” said a parent who spoke on condition of anonymity. The school authorities were not available for comment till late Saturday.

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