A school in Kerala thinks locking up students for non-payment of fee is apt punishment

Students ‘locked up’ in school over fees
Medical College police slapped Juvenile Justice Act and section 342 of IPC (wrongful confinement) against school principal, vice-principal and accounts officer.
KOZHIKODE: On Tuesday, around 250 students of a CBSE school in the city, some as young as eight years old, were locked up in a hall for hours and denied water. The reason: non-payment of fees. Two kids fainted and were taken to Beach Hospital.

Medical College police slapped Juvenile Justice Act and section 342 of IPC (wrongful confinement) against school principal P Abdul Rahman, vice-principal Girija Surendran and accounts officer Shajahan K M.

“It was very hot inside the hall and we were denied water. There was no place to sit in the hall and when we complained about it, we were asked to sit on the lap of other students,” said eight-year-old Ishma Fathima who fainted.

The school is run by Thiruvananthapuram-based Manarul Huda Trust and has been functioning on temporary affiliation from CBSE which expired last March. Parents said uncertainty over the school’s future led to the delay in payment of fees.

On Monday many students were made to stand outside their classrooms for an hour. A few parents visited the school on Tuesday morning to enquire about the previous day’s incident. “The principal said the students were attending class. But we saw a large number of students locked up inside the conference hall in front of the school building,” said Hathamul Naju, treasurer of Parents Teachers Association.

T M Aboobacker, a director of the school, denied the incident. “The students who had not paid their fees were asked to assemble in the conference hall for a briefing by the principal since the deadline was December 10. While the principal was about to go to the hall to address the students, a group of parents who have been opposing the school closure closed the doors and windows of the hall and started to protest,” he said.

Medical College sub-inspector M T Jacob said investigation is on. The Kerala State Child Rights Commission has asked the district police chief to submit a report on the issue.

When we questioned the authorities they denied the allegations. But students and parents have told us that they were locked inside, and denied water” said sub inspector, Medical College police station, Kozhikode.

According to the police, the school has issues with the affiliation and it had only a temporary affiliation from the government. “There were some legal problem related to affiliation of the school, so due to this uncertainty parents denied to pay the fees” said the inspector.