Bhopal: Over a year after complaint against him, a government school teacher in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua was arrested and remanded to 14-day judicial custody for allegedly directing some students to slap their classmate 168 times for not completing her homework.

Thandla tehsil’s Judicial Magistrate First Class Jai Patidar turned down the bail plea of 35-year-old Manoj Verma. Verma had allegedly directed students to slap their classmate, a student of Class 6 at Jawahar Navodaya School in Thandla town, in January last year.

According to the victim’s father Shiv Pratap Singh, his daughter did not go to school from January 1 to 10, 2018 as she was unwell.

On January 11, when the girl went to school and her work was incomplete, Verma told her classmates to slap her as a form of punishment following which 14 girls slapped her two times every day for six days.

Singh lodged a complaint with the school management which constituted a committee to probe the incident. The panel found the teacher guilty and suspended him, the prosecutor said.

However, initially, the school principal had defended the teacher’s action and termed the method a “friendly” punishment.

“We don’t allow corporal punishment in the school. The girl is weak in studies and doesn’t complete her assignments,” he had said, adding that the teacher chose this form of punishment to improve the child’s performance in school.

Meanwhile, Singh also lodged a complaint with the police against the teacher under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

The teacher was arrested this Monday.