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Priest jailed for beating students

Two 9-year-olds need stitches after being hit

  • Anne Nigli, Kolkata
  • India
  • September 10, 2012
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A priest is behind bars in West Bengal after allegedly hitting students in the heads with a can, causing two of them to need stitches.

In the incident that took place last week at the Don Bosco School in Bandel, six fourth-grade students aged around nine years old were spraying artificial snow in a classroom. The teacher entered, took some of the cans and hit the children with them, according to the school principal Father K.V. Matthew.

Father Matthew said that vice principal Fr. Subir Mandal, 38, admitted hitting the students and apologized.

The principal took the children to the school nurse for first aid and then to a nearby clinic. He then called the children’s parents, expressed regret and asked for their cooperation, he said.

The parents of one of the injured students lodged a police complaint against Fr. Mandal for voluntarily causing grievous hurt and criminal intimidation.

Fr. Matthew admitted that there had been complaints of corporal punishment against Fr. Mandal in the past, but said they were minor incidents and he had been warned by their provincial. The principal also said the school has a ruling against corporal punishment.

Moloy D’Costa, inspector of diocesan schools, said their management committee instructed all schools not to inflict corporal punishment since the high court’s decision to ban it two years ago.

D'Costa said that they will think about introducing anger management courses for educators.

Fr. Mandal will remain in police custody until his court hearing on September 13.

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