Palghar: Two teachers of a private school at Virar were on Thursday arrested for allegedly forcing three students to commit suicide by subjecting them to corporal punishment, police said.
The two teachers, identified as Ripusudan Shivkumar Gardh (32) and Sandeep Janya Palva (26), of Wagadh Gurukul International School at Sakwar in Virar, were arrested this morning, Virar Police Station's senior inspector Sunil Mane said.
The bodies of three 14-year-old children, Khushal Dagha, Meet Chhadwa and Prahul Patel, all students of Class IX, were found in Sukh River behind the school yesterday, he said.
The three children were among the other students in the school who were allegedly caned by the teachers for their poor performance, it has been alleged by the father of one of the deceased, Mane said.
The three students, stressed and disturbed by the caning, apparently decided to escape from the premises of the boarding school by jumping over the walls on Monday, he said.
The school management had earlier registered a missing person complaint and a frantic search was launched for the trio. Yesterday, the decomposed bodies of the three children were found floating in the river, he said.
The Virar Police had initially registered an ADR (accidental death report). They later held a probe and recorded the statements of other students at the school and parents.
Based on the complaint by Suresh A Chhadwa, father of one of the deceased students Meet, that the students were caned, police arrested the two teachers, Mane said.
The duo has been charged under sections 305 (abetment of suicide of child), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) rw 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and section 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.
The school has been running in the area for about ten years and has around 100 students, police said.
The school authorities were unavailable for comment.