NEW DELHI: In a shocking incident, at least 59 nursery girl students were allegedly locked up in the basement of a reputed school in old Delhi over non-payment of tuition fees.
The girls, who were held 'hostage' by the school authorities for a few hours, aged between four and five.
The incident came to light last week when the guardians of the girls went to collect their wards from the Rabea Girls' Public School in the afternoon.
When many of them did not find their wards, they complained to the school authorities who said that their children had been locked up in a basement because the management had not received the fees.
Angered with this, the guardians rushed to the nearest police station to file an FIR.
They claimed that despite their repeated appeals, the school management refused to let the children free from the basement where they were kept for close to five hours.
Some of the guardians even claimed that they had paid the school fees in advance but still their children were locked up in the basement.
Delhi: More than 15 kindergarten students from Rabea Girls' Public School were allegedly locked up in basement for not paying fees. A parent says,"My 4-year-old daughter was punished by school authorities for not paying fees while fact is I have already paid for next 6 months." pic.twitter.com/BF3hLpgTgj
— ANI (@ANI) July 11, 2018
Others said that the school authorities should not have locked the children as young as four and five, which they said was a criminal offence and demanded strict action against the school staff.
An FIR has been registered in this regard and the police have started to investigate the matter. Several school staff has been questioned by the police amid huge pressure from the parents.
Farah Diba, the headmistress, Rabea Girls' Public School, has categorically refuted charges of keeping the girl students in confinement. ''Basement is where the children play, there were 2 teachers watching them, they usually sit on the ground and the fan had gone for repair that day. The allegations are wrong,'' she said.
Basement is where the children play, there were 2 teachers watching them, they usually sit on the ground and the fan had gone for repair that day.The allegations are wrong: Farah Diba, Head Mistress, Rabea Girls' Public School pic.twitter.com/pkKTkPLwHe
— ANI (@ANI) July 11, 2018
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sought a detailed report on the alleged confinement of several girl students at the Rabea Girls' Public School.
The school, which is linked to the reputed Hamdard Group, charges between Rs 2,500 and Rs 2,900 as fees for each child.