New Delhi girls school locks students in basement over outstanding school fees

A New Delhi school is accused of resorting to drastic measures to wrangle unpaid fees out of its students parents. The principal reportedly locked up a group of five-year-olds in the basement until their debt was paid.

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Parents were left furious after the ransom tactics resulted in a group of 16 students being kept in the basement of the Rabea Girls Public School in the citys Chandni Chowk district, according to NDTV. The incident only came to light at the end of the day when it is alleged parents were informed that their children had been detained over the outstanding debts. The kindergartners were reportedly held for up to five hours.

"I found my daughter sitting on the floor of the school's basement among others – crying,” one parent, Imran, told the New Indian Express. “When we asked the teachers why they have been sent to the basement, they cited the authorities above have asked them to do so as the fees of these students haven't yet been received.”

Another parent, Zia-Ud-Din said that some children were detained despite their debts having been settled with the school: “The children were thirsty and were suffering in the heat. Police helped us. Even after I showed the proof of fees clearance, the principal was not apologetic or remorseful."

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An investigation has now been launched by police. Headmistress Farah Diba denies the allegations, saying that the basement is where the children play. “They usually sit on the ground and the fan had gone for repair that day,” she told Indian news agency ANI.

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