Ropar corporal punishment video: Principal thrashed girl after getting irritated by her laughter, finds probe

The inquiry has also found that the video clip came out after more than a year of the alleged incident because of internal politics in the school as some teachers wanted to settle scores with the principal.

More than a month after an old video clip purportedly showing a government school principal from Ropar slapping a girl student went viral, a probe by a three-member panel has found that the principal “got irritated on seeing the girl laugh and then slapped her publicly”. The inquiry has also found that the video clip came out after more than a year of the alleged incident because of internal politics in the school as some teachers wanted to settle scores with the principal.

Following the submission of report, Secretary Education, Punjab, has issued orders for transfer of the principal and four other teachers of Government Senior Secondary School (Girls), Ropar.

Speaking to The Indian Express, IPS Malhotra, OSD to DGSE, Punjab, one of the members of the probe panel, said that while the then Class X student, who was slapped, did not agree to record her statement before the panel despite repeated requests, the statements of other students, teachers and staffers in the school established that the principal slapped the girl publicly in assembly after she got irritated seeing the girl laugh.

“There was some discussion on the seating plan of pre-boards examimation going on in the assembly. The girl was apparently not attentive and started laughing. As per some eyewitnesses, the principal then asked the girl if she was aware of her seating plan which was announced and the girl again laughed. She was also making other girls laugh who were standing next to her. The principal then got irritated and slapped the girl publicly. She also pulled her braid and ears in front of everyone. It was a case of violation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.”

Malhotra further said that as per the probe, the video was put out more than a year after the incident due to ‘internal politics’ in the school as some teachers were unhappy with the principal.

“It wasn’t a one-sided affair. Some teachers alleged that the principal used to humiliate them but there was some indiscipline on the part of teachers too due to which the principal had been strict towards them. To take revenge, they made the old video go viral,” said Malhotra. “Principal had also issued showcause notice against two teachers for giving keys of mid-day meal ration store room to the cook and that had increased the friction between her and the teachers,” he added.

In the purported video, the principal can be seen slapping the girl on her face. She even pulls her ears and her hair, asking her to explain why she was laughing. “Kyun dand kad rahi si… kyu hassi.. sab naal share karo… koi chutkula sunaya si madam ne? (Why were you laughing? Why did you laugh? Share with everyone. Had the teacher cracked a joke),” she can be heard yelling at the girl.

The transfer order signed by School Education Secretary Krishan Kumar reads, “The Principal, Anju Chaudhary, gave corporal punishment to one girl student and also slapped her publicly which is violation of the provisions contained in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The principal used to insult staff members from time to time. The other staff members of the school…. are suspected to have got the video of the above said unfortunate incident viraled in the social media after a long period of happening of the said incident. These staff members have not been complying with the directions of the Principal and department from time to time.”

It adds: “From the perusal of the inquiry report, it reveals that the principal and other staff have not acted responsibly at all. They had their own issues among themselves and were trying to find out opportunities against each other,”

While the principal Anju Chaudhary has been transferred to GSSS Khothran of Nawanshahr, four teachers — Prabhjot, Amita Sharma, Baljit Kaur and Baljinder Kaur — have been transferred to other schools in district Ropar itself.

Malhotra said that despite repeated requests, the girl did not agree to record her statement as she had left the school after Class X.

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