India

India principal suspended after students assault Dalit pupil

An Indian member of the Dalit caste community holds a placard saying 'In Gujarat, Cow Slaughter is a Sin while Killing Dalits is pardonable' (L) as he participates in a protest rally against an attack on Dalit caste members in the Gujarat town of Una, in Ahmedabad on July 31, 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The video comes after Dalit protests erupted in July after four Dalit men were publicly flogged in Gujarat

Authorities in India have suspended the principal of a school where a student was allegedly assaulted by his classmates because he scored well in school and came from the Dalit community.

Fourteen other employees of the government-run school in the eastern state of Bihar have been moved out.

Police also detained two boys accused of repeatedly beating their classmate.

The boys, who are brothers, have been sent to a juvenile detention centre.

The role of three others is being investigated.

The case came to prominence when the 16-year-old victim wrote a blog post for the website of an Indian television station, describing his ordeal.

'Humiliation'

"You see, I am a Dalit and so doing well in the examinations or academics, which brings me praise at home, earns me humiliation and abuse in my classroom," the boy said in his letter to the NDTV network.

"You tell me, how should I cope and prepare?" he said, referring to his final school examinations due next year.

A video of one alleged assault on him also spread quickly on the internet.

Gujarat tension over assault of Dalits

India Dalits protest over attacks

Police said they took action after studying the video, taken by another boy and uploaded, which shows the student being punched, kicked and slapped.

"He was being tortured for quite some time," Babban Baitha, a senior policeman told AFP news agency.

"We went through the video which was recorded at the behest of the attackers themselves, and sent them to remand," Mr Baitha said.

The video comes after protests erupted in July when four Dalit men, believed to be tannery workers, were publicly flogged in western Gujarat state for skinning a dead cow.

Many Hindus consider cows sacred and the slaughter of the animal is banned in several states.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has criticised recent attacks against India's low-caste Dalit community, saying at a public rally that "my head hangs in shame" every time he hears of such an incident.

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