A head teacher in India is accused of battering a young boy to death because his parents could not afford to pay his school fees.
Angry locals stampeded the school in India last week and attacked staff members after it was claimed the head teacher had smashed a seven-year-old boy’s head into a wall when told his parents were trying to save up money to pay the school.
According to reports, head teacher Avinash Saraswat, 47, became violent when pupil Mohammed Aarai, 7, told him his parents could not pay the 4,500 rupee (£45 GBP) fee for two months because they could not afford it – but were saving up.
Witnesses said Saraswat then grabbed the boy by the hair, smashed his head against his office wall and continued slamming him until he passed out in the city of Bareilly in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state.
When the Mohammed did not regain consciousness, Saraswat and another teacher reportedly took the deceased corpse to a local hospital where he was declared dead.
A hospital spokesman said: “The boy had been severely beaten and had terrible injuries.
“When we told the pair who had brought him in that he was dead they immediately left, taking the body with them, and we contacted the police.”
News is circulating in India that Saraswat had dumped the body by the side of the road before returning to the school as if nothing had happened.
As media coverage the alleged murder quickly spread, Mohammed’s devastated father Nasim, along with furious family members and locals stormed the school.
Teacher Harish Khan, 33, said: “We were completely unaware of what had happened so when the mob turned up punching us and smashing up classrooms we were terrified.
“They were seriously angry and demanding justice. It was only when I asked what had happened that they told me. I was disgusted as well and can understand the anger.”
MP and minister for women and child welfare, Maneka Gandhi, said: “The school principal should be immediately arrested. The administration should crack down against such schools which are so insensitive to children.
“I will personally instruct local authorities to take stringent measures to ensure that such things do not take place in future.”
Police spokesman Brijesh Srivastava said: “We have opened an investigation of culpable homicide against the school principal and manager. If they are found guilty, strict punishment will be imposed against them.”