A 17-year old student died following a fight with three of his schoolmates over one of the trio wearing a wrist band, seen as a caste marker, and two teachers have been suspended, police said in Tirunelveli on Sunday.
A case has been registered and the three juveniles have been questioned and action against them would be in accordance with the Juvenile Justice law, they said.
The 17-year old Class XII student of a government school near Tirunelveli allegedly asked a Class XI student as to why he was sporting a wrist band. It led to an altercation between the duo and two other students, also belonging to Class XI stepped in to defend their classmate and a fight ensued in the school premises.
The victim belonged to a Most Backward Community.
One of the Class XI student was a Dalit and two of his classmates were from another religion. In the fight, the 17-year old boy was assaulted with a brick and he suffered injuries over his left ear and part of his head.
The incident occurred on April 25.
Subsequently, the Class XII boy took ill and he was admitted to the Government Medical College Hospital in Tirunelveli. Diagnosis revealed head injury and a surgery was performed. However, he succumbed to his injury on April 30.
The death of the Class XII student led to tension in the region and the family of the deceased and villagers demanded justice and staged a road blockade.
Senior police officials rushed to the spot and police personnel have been deployed to tackle the situation.
District officials have instructed the school authorities to take swift appropriate action to avoid repeat of such incidents and ensure that wrist bands seen as a marker of a specific caste is not permitted.
The government school is at an area off Ambasamudram, which is about 40 km from Tirunelveli.