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New Delhi: A case has been registered against two teachers of a government primary school in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapurfor allegedly forcing two Dalit girl students to remove their uniforms, according to the Indian Express.
The incident took place on July 11 when photographs of students in school uniforms were being clicked by teachers.
According to the girls’ parents, the teachers allegedly forced the girls to remove their uniforms to give them to two other girls who turned up for photographs in plain clothes. When the girls refused to do so, they were beaten up and the teachers forcefully removed their uniforms, discriminating against them because of their caste, the parents alleged.
“The teachers were clicking photos of students in school uniforms. My daughter was asked to remove her uniform and give it to another girl. When my daughter said she cannot do that, they beat her up and removed her uniform forcefully. When I complained to the school, I did not get an answer why this was done,” the mother of one of the girls told IE.
The father of another girl took up the matter with the anti-caste organisation Shoshit Kranti Dal, whose president, Ravikant, raised the issue with Basic Shiksha Adhikari, Hapur.
“This was a deliberate action by the teachers against the two girls because they belong to a Scheduled Caste. When the father approached me, I took up the matter with the Education department, and requested that the teachers be suspended,” Ravikant said, according to the newsapaper.
However, one of the teachers denied the allegations of discrimination.
“The students had been instructed to come to school dressed in the full school uniform. On July 11, when the photographs of the students were being clicked, some students who didn’t turn up in uniform asked their fellow students to lend their uniforms for the photograph. In fact, I was not even aware that something like this had happened and it was only July 12, when the parents of the two girls came to school and started questioning us that I found out,” the teacher told the Indian Express, adding that she did not beat up or force the girls as alleged by parents.
The parents also said that the teachers had been coming to school despite being suspended. One of the teachers said that although she was suspended from her responsibilities as a teacher, she had been asked to come to school as she was in charge of the school keys.
A first information report (FIR) has been registered against the teachers in question under various sections of the Indian Penal Code – including for voluntarily causing hurt and insult to provoke breach of the peace – and under relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Taking cognisance of the issue, the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Vijay Sampla, asked the Uttar Pradesh Police to share an action-taken report.