Sunday, August 14, 2011

Abuse of boy rocks Patashala

The SV Veda Patashala of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) at Tirumala has yet again been rocked by a brutal incident of ragging, sexual abuse and attempt-to-murder of a student by his seniors.

The student, 12-year-old boy from Kodada in Nalgonda district, joined the school for Vedic studies three years ago.

On Tuesday morning, his parents paid a casual visit to the school to see their son. On seeing his parents, the victim broke down and wept profusely.

The concerned parents found blade cuts all over his body and marks of strangulation around his neck. He was feverish and was rushed to the TTD’s Ashwini hospital at Tirumala.

The 12-year-old boy who was harassed, accompanied by his parents, met the TTD Joint Executive Officer (Tirumala), Mr K.S. Srinivasa Raju.

The boy revealed the hell he had been facing from senior students at the Veda Patashala for several months now. Four students are thought to be involved in the abuse of the boy. A couple of days ago, the seniors tried to crush his neck by placing it below the lid of a trunk box. His head was also smashed in a doorway.

The parents pointed out that though the boy had been running a high temperature for two days, the school management had not taken any notice.

The TTD’s JEO held a closed meeting with the parents and has assured them that he will take the culprits to task.Shockingly, no police complaint seems to have been registered.

The Tirumala DSP, Mr Rama Uma Maheshwara Sharma, confirmed that no complaint had been received from the TTD officials so far. On May 2, a junior student of Vedic studies, Surya Teja, 12, was subjected to similar violence by senior students. The TTD had tried to hush up the incident but it came to light when the child’s parents made a police complaint on May 18.

The ensuing furore had prompted the TTD to post a special officer to monitor the administration at the Veda Patashala, which is situated amidst dense forests.

Except for dismissing the students concerned and preliminary criminal proceedings, nothing much had come out of the inquiry in that case. As the latest case shows, the TTD has not taken the abuse of children in its care seriously enough, which is shocking for an institution of its repute.

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