Dalit pupil insulted by teacher in class

Representational image

Representational image

KannurRights activists have alleged that a teacher at the Kunneru AUP School near Payyannur in Kannur harassed a 13-year-old Dalit student in front of the entire class and the issue was covertly settled under political pressure.

PUCL executive member Dr Mohanan Pulikodan said the teacher, on October 20, asked the student the Malayalam word for ‘tree’. When the boy could not answer, he called a 2nd standard student who got the answer right.

Then the teacher asked the Dalit student to touch the feet of the other kid before the entire class. When the boy obeyed, he asked other children to laugh mockingly and laugh louder.

“The boy was traumatised and told his mother that he wanted to stop going school. Later, Left-affiliated Kerala School Teachers Union (KSTU) members visited the boy’s house and got a written statement from his mother by coercion that they had no complaint,” said Dr Pulikodan.

Dalit activists and their supporters are taking up the case under the banner of Janakeeya Prathirodha Samithi in Payyanur.

The issue was brought before Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Childline workers had recorded the boy’s statement.

School headmaster K.P. Bhaskaran said the issue was ‘settled’ after the teacher tendered an apology before the management, students and the PTA.

“We are not proceeding with it as he had acknowledged his mistake. Moreover, the mother of the student had given a statement that they had no complaint,” he told DC. Sources said the accused is a member of Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham.