Spl needs child tied to chair, triggers uproar

Patiala: A video of a special needs child being tied to a chair in his classroom at Patiala’s Navjivni Institute of Special Education went viral, prompting the Patiala deputy commissioner to order an inquiry. The video, shot by a local journalist on Wednesday, shows the seven-year-old who has learning difficulties tied to a chair with dupattas, crepe bandages and robes. The journalist had gone there to report on teachers of the institute protesting for a salary hike.

Speaking to TOI, the institute’s principal, Shashi Bala, said she had no role in the illtreatment towards the child and said some teachers who had been demanding a salary hike may have been responsible for the incident. She claimed that the child was tied while she was in her own room attending to parents seeking admissions in the institute.

“Around three months ago, some teachers had gone on strike demanding higher salaries,” she said. “The management was going to act against them but on Wednesday they went on strike again. There are around 125 students with special needs with us and I called in volunteers with diplomas to assist us in the absence of the regular teachers. I suspect some of the protesting teachers sneaked into the classroom and tied up the child to create a controversy.” Officials are also looking at the possibility of one of the temporary teachers tying up the child.

The district child protection officer (DCPO) has recorded the statement’s of Bala, staff members and the child’s parents. Bala insists that the parents are satisfied with the action taken. DCPO Shaina Kapoor did not take calls by TOI. Patiala deputy chief Kumar Amit said, “ Whoever is responsible for mistreatment of the child will not be spared.”

The incident, which went viral, took place at an institute in Patiala