India teacher accused of killing pupil over spelling mistake

Boy, 15, beaten and kicked unconscious before dying from his injuries on Monday at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh

Pupils travel on an auto-rickshaw during heavy rain in Amritsar last week.  AFP
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Indian police are searching for a teacher accused of beating a low-caste pupil to death over a spelling mistake, officers said on Tuesday.

The incident has led to violent protests.

Nikhil Dohre, 15, was struck with a rod and kicked until he was unconscious by his teacher earlier this month after misspelling the word “social” in an exam, according to a police complaint by his father.

He died from his injuries on Monday at a hospital in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The teacher has fled.

“He is on the run, but we will arrest him soon,” police officer Mahendra Pratap Singh told AFP.

Nikhil was a member of the Dalit community, which sits at the lowest rung of India's caste system and has been subject to prejudice and discrimination for centuries.

Hundreds of people took to the streets on Monday after news of Nikhil's death spread in Auraiya district, where the attack happened.

The crowd demanded the teacher's arrest before the cremation of the boy's body and torched a police vehicle.

About a dozen protesters have been arrested, Mr Singh said.

“We used force to quell the mob and the situation soon came under control,” said Police Superintendent Charu Nigam.

Updated: September 27, 2022, 12:40 PM
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