A Class 9 student of a school at Kudige in Kodagu district was found dead in a washroom in the school campus on Saturday. The 14-year-old boy's parents have alleged that he was harassed and murdered by his teachers at the school.
As per the complaint, the student, NP Chingappa, went to Sainik School on Saturday and reportedly went missing around 2 pm. A few hours later, the boy's father Poovaiah received a call from one of the teachers in the school claiming that Chingappa was missing.
A frantic search for the missing boy ended when he was found in the school washroom by warden Sunil, who rushed him to the hospital in an ambulance. However, he was pronounced dead on arrival.
An FIR was filed at Kushalnagar Rural police station at around 11 pm on Saturday by Poovaiah. In the complaint, he alleges that the school authorities had sent the boyâ€™s body to a government hospital without informing the local police and also accuses staff members of the school of murdering his son.
Poovaiah also claims that his son was previously harassed by staff members in the school. "My son had complained about the torture by the computer teacher, Kannada teacher, administrative officer and the warden. I complained to the Vice Principal, who ignored it," the complaint reads.
A case has been registered against the school Vice Principal Seema, Computer teacher Govindaraju, Kannada teacher GK Manjappa, Administrative Officer D Mathew and warden Sunil in connection with the incident.
Poovaiah also spoke to mediapersons demanding justice for his son. "We want justice. My son wanted to be in the army. We brought him up with difficulty. We put him in Bijapur at first for one year and he had said he will definitely join the army but now this has happened. If it happens to my son today, tomorrow it will be someone else," he said.
In a press release reported by The New Indian Express, authorities at Sainik School sought to clarify their stance. â€śCadet Chingappa NP was declared brought dead by the PHC, Kudige, on June 23 at 8 pm. Earlier in the day, the cadet was counselled by the teacher for an act of indiscipline. In the evening, he was found unconscious in the washroom and taken to the hospital. The school is rendering all support to the police,â€ť reads the release.
However, it did not stop Poovaiah and other family members along with volunteers from Kodava Samaj, an NGO in the town, from protesting outside the hospital where the boy's body was kept. Protesters also got into a heated confrontation with police officials in Kushalanagar. "The post-mortem will be done on Monday and we are investigating the five persons working in the school who have been mentioned in the report," said Ajith Kumar, Police officer at Kushalanagar Rural Police Station.