UP books reporter after video on school serving salt, roti in mid-day meal
A week after children at a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district were served rotis and salt in their mid-day meal, the state government has registered a case against a journalist who reported the incident.
The Mirzapur block education officer filed a complaint against Pawan Jaiswal, a journalist, and a representative of the village head Rajkumar Pal. A senior police officer said the case has been registered against Jaiswal and Rajkumar Pal under IPC sections 186 (voluntarily obstructing public servant in discharge of his function), 193 (false evidence), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating).
Mirzapur superintendent of police Awadhesh Kumar Pandey said Pal has been arrested.
The incident took place at government primary school, Shiur in Mirzapur. The midday meal scheme is a government programme to provide better nutrition to children in schools.
A video showing the children being served only rotis in the school in Shiur, Mirzapur, went viral and it was also sent to the district magistrate who ordered a probe. The headmaster of the school was suspended.
The district magistrate constituted a four-member probe committee comprising chief development officer Priyanka Niranjan, additional district magistrate UP Singh, sub-divisional magistrate Satya Prakash Singh and block education officer Prem Shankar Ram.
“The basic shiksha adhikari (BSA) has been instructed to carry out a probe and ensure strict action,” district Anurag Patel had said. He said the basic shiksha adhikari had also been asked to give an explanation.
The district magistrate said chief minister Yogi Adityanath took the matter very seriously and the probe was ordered after his instruction. Patel said the probe revealed that the video showing roti and salt being served to the children was “prepared deliberately.”
The district magistrate said the village head and headmaster of the school operate the account of the mid-day meal which had sufficient funds. He said Rajkumar Pal, who looks after the midday meal work as representative of the village head, called the journalist to the school and filmed the video.
There was a similar incident in a girls school in West Bengal last month. The students were fed only rice and salt while the school noticeboard said they would be served rice, soya bean curry and dal. Two teachers were suspended after the incident in the school in Chinsurah, around 50km from state capital Kolkata.