Six-year-old Pankaj Singh, from Karnal in India, who had been locked up in school for failing to complete his homework, died after his family claims he failed to come to terms with the harsh punishment. A student of Rajkul Senior School, Kamela, in Gharonda subdivision, Pankaj had allegedly been locked up in a dark room on December 27 last year to reprimand him for his 'negligence'.
When the Dera Gandhi village resident didn't reach home after school was over for the day - and everyone had gone home - his family raised an alarm. They claimed that they found Pankaj unconscious inside the room. Allegedly, the school had forgotten that they had detained him. 'Pankaj stopped eating properly and had to be admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak,' Mahipal, Pankaj's uncle said. But the sensitive child struggled to come to terms with the harassment he had faced in school, he added.
Pankaj's father Jasvir Singh said that after his son showed signs of recovery, he was discharged from the hospital and was sent back to school. Things were fine until he attended the class of the teacher who had allegedly punished him earlier. The boy fainted and had to be hospitalised. He was discharged on February 11 and passed away on Sunday night. Jasvir and his family reported the matter to the local police on Monday, alleging that the private English-medium school had caused the death of their child.
Sandeep Singh, vice-president of the school, denied the teacher had punished Pankaj. The child was suffering from some disease which led to his death, he claimed. The village panchayat stepped in, attempting a truce between Pankaj's family and the school. The panchayat has reportedly directed Jasvir not to talk to the police until they decide on the matter. Based on their assurances, the family cremated the child, without any autopsy being carried out. Neelam P. Kasni, the Karnal deputy commissioner, however defended the school. 'Pankaj's family had attempted to blow the issue out of proportion. The family accused the school of harassment after two months of the incident, only after the child died,' the official said.