Himmatnagar: The administrator of an unregistered residential school in Gujarat's Sabarkantha district was booked on Thursday for allegedly branding at least 12 minor students with a hot steel spoon as punishment for not waking up early in the morning, police said.
The case of assault and other offences under the Indian Penal Code and Juvenile Justice Act against Nachiketa Vidya Sansthan administrator Ranjit Solanki at Kheroj police station was based on the complaint of the father of a 10-year-old student, an official said.
"It is alleged that Solanki had branded the complainant's son and 11 other students with a hot steel spoon nearly two months ago. He is yet to be arrested," Deputy Superintendent of Police Smit Gohil said.
Solanki, a resident of Poshina taluka of the district, is the administrator of 'Nachiketa Vidhya Sansthan' in Kheroj village in Khedbrahma taluka.
A parallel investigation by the office of the district primary education officer revealed it is not a school but an unregistered 'gurukul' with a hostel facility being run by a trust to teach Upanishads, Ramayana and Vedas to students, officials said.
As per the complaint of Ramabhai Taral, Solanki had branded his minor son and 11 other students for not waking up early in the morning.
The complainant has claimed the trust convinced local tribals that 'Nachiketa Vidya Sansthan' is a regular school with hostel facility and students will be able to study and stay at the facility till Class X.
"A week ago, I learnt from someone that students are being tortured at the school. To cross check that claim, I went to the school a few days ago. Though there were burn marks on my son's legs but he did not reveal anything out of some unknown fear. Later, he informed me that Solanki branded him two months ago for not waking up early," Taral said in his complaint.
"We learnt from students that Solanki had branded 12 students one by one using a hot spoon as a punishment for not waking up early. Out of fear, students did not say anything to their parents all these days," Taral further said in his complaint.