Source: The Times of India

Hyderabad : A private school here allegedly locked up 19 students on its premises for about two hours, for not paying their school fees on time. The students were also barred from appearing in their annual examination, which began Saturday.

The atrocity was discovered after a parent informed the police, activists, and media about the confinement at Saritha Vidyaniketan, Hayathnagar. Police have registered a case under the Juvenile Justice Act against the school management. A probe has begun.

“My daughter borrowed a cellphone from a parent who had come to pay the fee and called her mother to inform her about the confinement. She said they were `locked’ in a room and weren’t allowed to give the ex am. I asked her to pass the phone to the principal or any staff in the vicinity, but they refused to talk. Immediately, we rushed to spot and were shocked to see even a five-year-old among the detained students,“ said a parent.

“We have dues, but my wife already met the principal and assured the payment by April. She also requested them to allow our kids to sit for the exam. The school management should have called parents if there was an issue, this is no way to treat kids,“ said the parent.

Hayathnagar Police inspector J Narender Goud, said, “The school management’s behaviour was uncalled for. We found the children, aged 5 to 14 years, in a room upon reaching the spot.They were released and allowed to take the exam after our intervention.When questioned about their action, the management said it was because the students’ parents had delayed in paying their fees.“

Activists condemned the incident and demanded action. “This act is a severe violation of child rights and amounts to illegal confinement. We demand a criminal case against the management,“ said Achyuta Rao, a child right activist.