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Delhi school locks kindergarten girls in basement for hours due to alleged delay in fee payment

A private school located in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk has been accused of locking 16 kindergarten girls in a basement for five hours after their parents allegedly failed to pay the fees on time, The Hindu has reported.

The incident was reported from the Rabea Girls Public School on Monday, where the girls were finally rescued by their parents after being confined for five gruelling hours. Following the rescue, about 50 parents staged protests in front of the school and later filed a police complaint.

As per a parent named Fatima, when they went to collect their kids, they found they were missing from the classroom. When they questioned the school authorities, they were told that the girls were locked in the school basement for failing to pay the school fees.

Fatima thus claimed that after rushing to the basement they found the girls crying, following which they were rescued.

Another parent named Mohammad Asif claimed that he had dropped his daughter to school at 7 AM and went back to pick her up at 12:30 PM when he discovered their confinement in the basement. He also claimed that the girls were kept under inhuman conditions as the basement lacked fans and ventilation. It has even been claimed that the girls were found hungry and thirsty by the parents.

Hindustan Times has reported that as a result of the complaint, the Hauz Khaas police has filed a case under section 342 for wrongful confinement and section 75 of the juvenile justice act for cruelty to a child.

With regards to fee payment, parents have disputed the school’s claims by asserting that they have already paid the fees till September. This led to many parents producing the school fee receipts to prove the school wrong.

A DNA report even claims that the headmaster Farah Diba Khan misbehaved with the parents when they talked to her about the matter. When the parents showed the principle the proof that they had indeed paid their fees, she failed to express any remorse, a Deccan Chronicle report has claimed.

In the school’s defence, the principle has denied the confinement and claimed that the basement is actually an activity room for the students to play. With regards to the fee payment fiasco, a teacher was quoted as claiming that a confusion was created over the administration not informing them about the fee payment. The teacher also claimed that the parents didn’t give them a “teachers copy” of the receipt, which was part of the problem.

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