Two Class 11 students allegedly beat a 12-year-old to death in a Dehradun school earlier this month, after which school officials buried the boy’s body inside the campus, PTI reported on Thursday, quoting police. The accused allegedly tortured the boy because the school had stopped all students from leaving the campus after he stole biscuits outside.

The incident took place on March 10 but the matter came to light only after the Uttarakhand Commission for Protection of Child Rights intervened in the matter, Dehradun Senior Superintendent of Police Nivedita Kukreti said.

Kukreti said the senior students beat the Class 7 student up because they believed he was responsible for the lock-down that the school had imposed as a punishment. The accused allegedly used cricket bats and wickets to beat him up, PTI reported.

Rampokhri Station House Officer PD Bhatt told the Hindustan Times that after beating him on the school building’s terrace, they bathed, fed him and left him in the study room. When he started vomiting, the warden and other school officials took him to a hospital where he died during treatment, Bhatt said.

The doctor reportedly said that an initial examination indicated that he died of food poisoning, Hindustan Times reported. The school informed his father, who lives in a leprosy shelter home in Meerut, about the death. When he arrived in Dehradun, the hospital authorities told him that the cause of death was food poisoning.

Chairperson of the State Commission of Protection of Child Rights Usha Negi said several local residents had informed her about the incident. “As the father of the boy is not educated, the school management made him sign some papers and buried the body in the school premises,” Negi said. “It was done clearly to hide the evidence for which the school management is solely responsible. Strict action should be taken against other staffers too.”

On Tuesday, the police exhumed his body to conduct an autopsy.

The school’s principal, MM Chandiwal, has denied any responsibility in the matter and said the incident happened at the hostel which is not under her purview, Hindustan Times reported.

The deceased’s father has demanded justice for his son.