Six minor Dalit boys studying in a Panchayat school in the district have been booked for allegedly assaulting and outraging the modesty of six of their schoolmates belonging to an upper caste.
The accused are being questioned.
The incident took place on Friday night near the school campus in Madurai under M Kallupatti police limits when the victims were returning home, police said.
The boys allegedly smeared cattle dung on the six, four girls and two boys, and attacked them with lethal weapons, injuring them, besides outraging the modesty of the girls. All the six have been hospitalised.
A complaint was lodged last night by the parents of the victims, following which cases had been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons) against the minor boys, who have been detained for questioning, police said.
The motive for the assault was being investigated, police said, adding since those involved were minors they suspect some elders could have instigated them.