Facing flak, the principal of the prestigious school La Martiniere for Boys on Tuesday apologised for caning a 13-year-old student, who allegedly committed suicide.
"It was a mistake.
I have apologised to the school board and for this I am ready to face the consequences," Principal Sunirmal Chakravarthy said. He, however, said the caning should not be linked to the death of the class VIII student Rouvanjit Rawla on February 12. "I think it is stretching it a bit too far," he said.
But, Ajay Rawla, father of the boy, said he had not received any apology and did not know if the Principal had apologised to the Board. "But I am glad that teachers are willing to behave themselves," he said. Rawla said, "If kids are going to benefit for not getting beaten and humiliated and victimised, I think we have achieved a lot."
At the same time, he said, "I have no reason to see, to believe that this man (the principal) has any remorse. I have never any apology from him." Denying allegations that the boy was caned so hard that the stick broke on his back, Chakravarthy said he had given Rouvanjit two "mild strokes". "It is a horrendous and outrageous lie to say that the cane broke into several pieces. It's a figment of whose imagination I don't know," he said.
Rouvanjit was caned in the school four days before his death. He got the caning along with two other boys for playing truant, he said. Chakravarthy said Rouvanjit had been hauled up for bursting stink bombs in the classroom. He was issued a note and had been asked to bring his father to school. The Principal also claimed that caning was not rampant at La Martiniere and was only resorted to rarely.
"They (students) are never caned with the intention to hurt. If there is a need to punish, it is to be done while being fair and compassionate. "The intention is to send a message as to how disappointed you are (with the child). We need to correct the children."
Secretary of the school board, Supriyo Dhar, said the Principal has been warned and asked not to repeat the act. Police are investigating the matter.PTI