I am afraid they would be back to hurt me: PET teacher

"All my students watched in horror as I ran for my life, with thugs chasing me inside the school premises. How can I expect anyone to respect me after I go back to work," asks S Baskar. The physical education teacher at Loyola Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam, had beaten up by a mob on Thursday for allegedly punishing a student.

The teacher now undergoing treatment at the Government General Hospital, is in a constant state of panic every time someone walks into the ward. "I do not know who is coming in and going out, I am afraid they would be back to hurt me," he moaned in pain.

Baskar recalls taking a student to the headmaster for whistling during the PT class. In a couple of hours a mob barged into the school and began attacking Bhaskar who fled into a small room, where he was beaten up with chairs and belts.

'One of the guys pulled out his leather belt and began whipping me. They hit me with chairs due to which I have a blood clot on the right side of my face and doctors had to stitch up a deep gash in my right hand," said Baskar. Despite several teachers and students rushing to his aid, the mob beat up Baskar black and blue and before leaving him with a warning. The teacher who lost his consciousness was rushed to Government Royapettah Hospital and later shifted to GH. "I struggled to educate him and was glad when he landed a job that he loved. But it shocks me to see my son lying helplessly like this on a hospital bed fearing for his life," wept Kantha, Baskar's mother.

The family members alleged that they were facing pressure from unknown quarters and even doctors were asking them to leave the hospital at the earliest. "The student's family is behind this. It is evident that they have a lot of money and clout. Though we have lodged a police complaint, at a certain level it is frightening," said Charles, Baskar's brother.

Students and colleagues of Bhaskar who had come to visit Bhaskar at the hospital kept recalling the incident with horror. "To have a mob walk into school and attack a teacher, in front of the other staffs has left a sense of uneasiness among all of us." sWe dedicate our lives to teaching and now we have nowhere to turn for protection," said Maheswari, Baskar's colleague.

Baskar who is uncertain about returning to work said, "I don't know. I hear a lot of parents, teachers and students are protesting on my behalf. May be in time I will work up the courage to go back to work," he said.