Probe Begins In School on Charges Of Punishing Students For Celebrating Diwali
Education Department officials today began a probe against a private school at Palakarai here for allegedly punishing and insulting children who had celebrated Diwali and also for applying Mehendi on their hands.

Police said parents of the children today blocked the gate and demanded action against the school authorities, including the head and physical education teacher, who they alleged, punished children who celebrated Diwali, burst crackers and applied Mehendi.

S Sethuraman, a parent, said the school authorities had asked the children who had burst crackers on Diwali day to raise their hands and some children did so. Those who did were taken to task, he added.

He allged that a girl was beaten for applying mehandi on her hand,

The authorities had also reportedly asked children who burst crackers to seek pardon of God, he said.

Some children who said they did not celebrate Diwali were given appreciation letters.

The school authorities said they had only acted on the instructions of the Pollution Control Board to curb noise and smoke pollution.

Police have registered a case against the head of the school and physical education teacher on a complaint from Sethuraman.

Education Department officials, who conducted an enquiry in the school with the students and the heads, said the report would be sent to higher officials.

Police said it was the childrens' right to celebrate Diwali and it was wrong on the part of the school to curb such practises.