India police probe 'corporal punishment' death in Hyderabad

Mohammed Ismail
Image caption Reports say Ismail was punished for fighting with another student

Police in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad say they are investigating whether a 14-year-old boy died due to corporal punishment in school.

Mohammed Ismail died in hospital on Thursday, 10 days after he was made to do more than 200 sit-ups by his teacher, his family has alleged.

The school said the punishment could not have been the cause of the death.

A case of "negligence leading to death" has been registered against the Royal Embassy School and the teacher.

Assistant commissioner of police Sai Krishna told the BBC on Friday that they were waiting for the post-mortem examination report to establish the cause of the death.

Ismail's father Mohammed Siddique Hussain said that on returning home from school on 3 September, his son had fever and he complained of acute body pain.

"But he did not tell us about the inhuman punishment in school. We took him to a local hospital where his condition worsened. It was only two days later that he told us about the punishment as he was unable to walk."

Mr Hussain said his son had undergone a leg surgery a few years ago and an iron rod had been inserted in his leg.

"Despite knowing his condition, the school teachers made him run up and down the three-storey school building. He was made to go to different classes and do sit-ups. He was humiliated. He was a sensitive boy and could not bear this humiliation," he said.

Reports said Ismail was punished after he had a fight with another student.

Doctors at Durru Shahwar Hospital, where Ismail died, said he had "a brain haemorrhage".

After reports of Ismail's death became known, a mob attacked the school and ransacked it.

Principal Abdul Majeed rejected the allegation that the punishment in school was the cause of the death.

"There could be other reasons but baseless allegations are being levelled by the family," he said.

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