School student punished in TN for not wearing footwear

Rameswaram: The headmaster of a private school near here allegedly beat a student for coming without wearing slippers as he was observing ‘vratham‘ (austerities) for going on a pilgrimage to the Sabarimala Ayyappa shrine, triggering a protest by some Hindu outfits, police said Monday.

The parents of the ninth standard student were irked by the headmaster’s action and complained to the education department. They accused the school head of not understanding the sentiment behind not wearing footwear, police said.

Police held talks with the family members of the student and the outfits, even as some locals supported the headmaster and sought action against those staging a protest.

Activists belonging to the outfits later dispersed. Meanwhile, the headmaster said school rules do not permit students without footwear to enter and that he was following the rule. Education department officials said they were looking into the matter.