A private school in Bangalore, India, is accused of cutting off tufts of hair from poor pupils in order to distinguish them from its better-off students.
Children from a lower caste Hindu community, attending The Oxford School in accordance with an anti-discrimination law, were forced to wear different uniforms and had some of their hair cut off, claim the parents of four of the pupils.
Under the Right to Education law, which was passed last year, private schools must reserve a quarter of their enrollment slots for low-income families. Millions of children cannot afford to go to school in India. The law allows poor children between the ages of 6-14 to have free primary school education. There has been a great deal of opposition to the law from schools, and this week more than 1,000 schools in Karnataka are on strike to protest it. The schools claim that the law restricts their autonomy and is a drain on resources.
The Karnataka state department of education is investigating.