Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mumbai Mirror - Principal snips off student’s hair, parents lodge FIR

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    • Parents say they kept the tuft of hair for religious reasons and would have cut it off in April. Authorities at St Jude’s High School, Sakinaka, say boy had been warned that it violated school’s dress code and rules; principal booked for hurting religious sentiments
    • By Dipti Sonawala
    • The principal of a convent school cut off the tuft of hair (shendi) of a 14-year-old Brahmin student on Tuesday, allegedly because it violated the school’s dress code.

      The boy’s irate parents have registered an FIR against the principal – Father Frank Fernandes of St Jude’s High School, Sakinaka – for allegedly beating up their son and hurting their religious sentiments.
    • Pravesh Dubey and the 8-inch tuft of hair that was cut off.
    • Pravesh Dubey, a Std VIII student, had been growing the tuft since he was a year old, as it was of religious significance. He was to grow it until he turned 15 and cut it only after a religious ceremony in April at Vindhyavasini temple in Uttar Pradesh.

      But on Tuesday, he did not anticipate its fate. “I had gone to the principal’s cabin to collect my fees calendar. He was furious to see that I had not cut my hair. He asked me to turn my back towards him, and took out a pair of scissors from his drawer. I pleaded with him, but he beat me up and snipped off my tuft. When he was about to throw it into the dustbin, I asked him to give it to me,” recalled Pravesh.
    • The boy’s parents allege that the principal took the step despite their request to excuse their son up to April. “My son was not growing his hair for fashion. We were supposed to cut it off according to our rituals. We had requested Father Fernandes to excuse us up to April,” said Umadevi Dubey, Pravesh’s mother.
    • Pravesh and his parents at the Sakinaka Police Station on Tuesday

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