Foul smell sparks suspicion of miscreants mixing excreta in Tamil Nadu school water tank

The students were washing their hands after breakfast when they found something odd with the water, whose samples have been sent for testing.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Sep 22, 2023 | 6:59 PMUpdated Sep 22, 2023 | 7:00 PM

Foul smell sparks suspicion of miscreants mixing excreta in Tamil Nadu school water tank

Water samples from a school in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu have been sent for testing after a foul smell sparked suspicion of human excreta being mixed in the water.

Students of the Panaikulam Panchayat Middle School near the panchayat town of Papparapatti complained of the foul smell to teachers on Thursday, 21 September.

On inspecting the water tank located on the school premises, the teachers came to suspect that human excreta had been mixed in the water.

The students were washing their hands after breakfast when they found something odd with the water. Besides the odour, its colour, too, had changed, the students claimed.

“They alerted the teachers who found faeces floating on the water. We inspected the scene, took water samples and informed the police. The tank was later drained,” an official in the Chief Education Officer’s office told South First.

He added that the school has a strength of 121 students.

The Papparapatti police sent the water samples to a laboratory. They were now waiting for the test result.

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Earlier incidents 

This is the fourth incident of a similar nature that has happened in a Tamil Nadu school.

On 7 September, cow dung was found mixed in the water tank of a panchayat union middle school at the Chinnamoopanpatti village in the Virudhunagar district. The water was used for cooking breakfast. A complaint was filed with the Virudhunagar West police

On 19 August, human excreta was smeared on the classroom doors and locks of a government higher secondary school at Mathur near Tiruthani.

The police determined that the mischief was done by two students who were angry with their teachers.

In August’s first week, two Class VIII boys of a government school in the Pudukottai district were dismissed after they allegedly mixed urine in the water bottles of two girls.

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Experts weigh in

Dr D Janet Vasanthakumari, director of counselling at the MS Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, said a “suppressed revenge-taking attitude” was behind such incidents.

“These persons are deviants and are not bothered about the emotions of others. Unlike others, they will not confront individuals since they are scared and insecure,” she said.

“They would be angry with society due to several reasons, including childhood trauma, the way they were brought up, exploitation, and lack of parental care,” she said.

Paul Samson, a retired DSP, said that such acts could be compared with terrorist activities.

“Usually, a particular incident would be the trigger for terrorists. They would create fear. The same is the attitude here. Using faeces as a weapon, the miscreants want to humiliate a particular person or group. They are not bothered about others getting affected,” he said

“Usually when we arrest such persons, they won’t even regret their acts. They express a sense of satisfaction. Moral studies must be taught to the students both at home and school, and it is the only way to prevent such incidents. Parents should teach them to respect the dignity of others,” he added.