Agartala: Angry villagers put up road blockades demanding punishment to the headmaster of an English medium school for allegedly beating up students for conversing in the local dialect Kokborok in a remote area of Tripura’s Khowai district, police said on Sunday.
Police said they were investigating the turn of events that saw the villagers resorting to agitation on Saturday at Manaichhara village in the western part of the state.
The police have already interacted with the accused headmaster but refused to disclose his identity to prevent further trouble. “We are investigating the matter very seriously, and have spoken to both the headmaster and the students who were beaten up. Lawful action will be taken if anybody is found guilty.
“But we convinced the parents to maintain peace in the area and asked the school authority to restore normalcy in the school and cooperate with us in the investigation,” said the investigating officer of Khowai police station.
According to the report, the headmaster of the English medium school – Sacred Heart – on Thursday assaulted six students including girls studying in Class VI and IX for speaking in their mother tongue – Kokborok – instead of English at the school violating the direction of the authority.
The headmaster argued that the students get admission to the school after giving an undertaking they would follow its rules and regulations. Speaking in English during school hours is mandatory.
“This principle is followed not to show disrespect to the local dialect or neglect it, but to make the students fluent in English,” the school authority claimed.
“The students mainly in the remote areas are spending 25-30 hours weekly in the school and rest of the time they live with their parents and siblings. Despite having talent, a large number of students from rural areas don’t get admission to the convent schools and colleges of the state and outside due to a lack of fluency in English. Therefore, we strictly follow the principle of students conversing in English during school hours and their guardians know it,” the headmaster argued, denying the charge of inhuman torture.