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UP: BSP delegation visiting primary school in Ballia alleges harassment by DM


ANI Politics
A Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) delegation which visited Rampur primary school in Ballia on Thursday alleged harassment by District Magistrate, Bhawani Singh Khagraut.
The delegation was here to enquire over reports of students from SC, ST and Dalit communities facing bias.
"District Magistrate said BSP people wearing good clothes and shoes are talking about Dalits. We want to know if Dalits don't have the right to wear good clothes in BJP government," a member of the delegation said.
"We were talking to the parents when the District Magistrate reached on the spot. We were only apprising the DM to take action against those who are found guilty in the investigation in this incident. DM instead of talking about impartial investigation began to raise bizarre issues," he added.
This comes after a video was circulated on social media showing some children sitting separately and having mid-day meal in leaf plates while the majority of students ate food on steel plates. Some of the students allegedly carried their plates from home to the school.
Demanding an impartial investigation in the entire incident and strict action against those found guilty, the leader from the BSP delegation said if the administration failed to do so, BSP will be forced to take the issue to the streets and Assembly.
Condemning the "unpleasant and undignified conduct" of the DM BSP delegation said, "I criticise it in strongest terms. As a DM, a person objecting to somebody wearing good clothes is unfortunate. Such DM has no right to stay on his post even for a minute."
The BSP leader said BJP is spearheading a campaign against Dalits, backward, minorities in the state and DM is helping it.
Refuting the allegations levelled against him by BSP delegation, DM Bhawani Singh Khagraut said, "When I came, there were big vehicles already here. I didn't know which party they belong to. But they seemed to be politicians by their attire. I said please come with me and we will investigate it together. I said, come we will have the meals together, it will send a positive message and all such rumours will end. But they did not accept it."
According to one student from the school, "Anyone can eat in the plates available in schools, so we bring separate plates from home."
P Gupta, Principal of Rampur primary school had said on Thursday that the practice prevails despite school authorities asking students not to do so.
"We ask students to sit together and eat but they go separate ways as soon as we leave. Maybe they've learnt it from home. We've tried a lot to teach them that they're all equals but students from upper caste try to stay away from those of lower-caste.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 3:05 PM IST

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