India bed-wetting: outrage after schoolgirl forced to drink urine

Image caption The girl's parents say she is traumatised by the incident (file photo)

The warden of a school hostel in India, who allegedly forced a student to drink her own urine as punishment for bed-wetting, has been granted bail.

The girl's parents lodged a complaint alleging that the warden had "squeezed urine into the girl's mouth from the bed sheet".

The incident has caused outrage and sparked debate in India.

The Patha Bhavan school has begun an investigation in to the incident. The warden has made no public comment yet.

The parents, who were also arrested for "unauthorised entry" to the school, have been released on bail too.

Patha Bhavan school, in the town of Santiniketan in West Bengal state, is run by Viswa Bharati university, which was set up by Nobel-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore.

A spokesperson for the university said they had received a complaint from the girl's parents and formed a four-member committee to investigate the case. The girl was in the school's fifth grade, and she is reported to be about 10 years old.

'Girl unwell'

India's child rights commission has sought an explanation from the school.

"If this is true, then the warden should be suspended," chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Shanta Sinha said on Monday.

"People who look after children should know how to look after them," she said.

Ms Sinha said her office was sending a notice to the school asking them to explain the incident within a week.

According to the parents of the girl, the incident took place on Saturday night when their daughter wet her bed because she was unwell. They say they only found out about the incident when the mother called the warden to inquire after the girl.

In their police complaint, the parents say that the warden told them she made the child drink her own urine "as a treatment to stop the bad habit".

The university also lodged a counter-complaint with the police, accusing the parents of entering the hostel without permission on Saturday night.

Corporal punishment is banned in India but cases of physical abuse are regularly reported.

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