Bangladesh principal suspended after caning girls so brutally that 15 were hospitalised

DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh authorities suspended the head teacher of a girls' primary school on Thursday after she caned a group of pupils so brutally that 15 of them needed hospital treatment, officials said.

The girls aged between 10 and 12 were all thrashed by the principal, Ms Akter Jahan, as a punishment for ignoring her orders to clean up a classroom on Wednesday, government administrator Kamrul Hasan said.

"She was suspended this morning after preliminary investigations into her conduct," Mr Hasan told AFP. "Fifteen girls were hospitalised. Five of them were released from the hospital yesterday and the rest this morning."

The mass-circulation Bengali daily Kaler Kantha said angry parents had besieged the 44-year-old Ms Jahan's home in the western town of Baliakandi after they had seen their daughters' injuries.

Bangladesh banned corporal punishment in 2010 soon after eight youngsters who had forgotten to bring coloured pencils to school were hospitalised with injuries from caning.