A wave of protests prompted by the death of a 10-year-old girl, apparently bitten by a snake during school, have spiralled into violence with police clashing with student demonstrators in southern India.
Shehal Sherin died on Thursday allegedly after being bitten by a snake during class in Sultan Bathery in the rural Wayanad district of Kerala.
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Students from schools in the state and members of the Students Federation of India (SFI) have staged protests demanding action against the school for its handling of the tragedy and calling for better facilities in schools.
The demonstrators marched through the streets carrying placards and chanting slogans demanding action. The police baton charged the protesters after the activists broke through a barricade and entered a public building in Wayanad in a bid to enter the District Collectors office, NDTV reports.
The parents of the young girl have accused the school of negligence, alleging that she was made to wait at the school after she was bitten by the reptile. She was only taken to hospital after they collected her.
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“We want justice for Shehala. Stern action should be taken against the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), the teachers who refused to rush the student to hospital, and the doctors who refused to treat her,” a student told the Press Trust of India.
The primary school teacher at the center of the case has been suspended in the wake of the tragic death and Kerala’s education minister has ordered an investigation into the incident.
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