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Virar school horror: 2 teachers held for assault, abetment

Friday, 29 August 2014 - 6:03am IST | Agency: dna

Statements of 15 people recorded and 7 students made witnesses; arrested duo in police custody till Sept 1

A day after the bodies of three Std IX students of Vagad Gurukul International School in Virar were found floating in a stream behind their hostel, the police on Thursday arrested two teachers in connection with the case.

Ripusudan Garg, who taught Sanskrit, and physical exercise teacher Sandeep Palwa have been booked for assault and abetment to suicide. The parents of the deceased boys have alleged that the duo severely beat their wards for scoring low marks.

The Virar police have recorded statements of 15 people, while seven students have been made witnesses in the case. Rattled by the incident, the school management has decided to implement new policies to curb corporal punishment on the campus.

Meet Chadhwa, Prahul Patel and Kushal Dhada, all aged 14, were found dead on Wednesday, two days after they went missing from the hostel and a day after a missing complaint was filed.

Built on a 24-acre plot in Sakwar village off the Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway, nearly 120 students study at the day-boarding school that also has a hostel.

Shrikrishna Kokate, additional superintendent of police, said they are probing all angles and have booked the teachers under Sections 305 (Abetment of suicide of child or insane person), 324 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) 34(common intent) of the Indian Penal Code.

"We have taken the statement of their classmate who too was beaten up. The teachers have also been booked under section 23 (punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child) of the Juvenile Justice Act (care and protection of children), 2000," said Kokate.

The duo were produced in a Vasai court on Thursday and were remanded in police custody till September 1. "We will apply stringent sections if we come across any evidence against the accused," said Kokate.

Meanwhile, the school management promised to introduce new rules to prevent incidents of corporal punishment. Managing trustee Amrut Gada said, "We will now have a relook at the security measures at the hostel and implement policies to train our teachers and students to create a healthy atmosphere."

Gada added that they were cooperating with the police. "They can punish the teachers if they are found guilty."

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