Teacher hires Dalit cook, lands in soup

Thrashed for serving kids midday meal cooked by her

The headmaster of a primary school in Gonda district was assaulted
allegedly for having a Dalit woman cook midday meal for the children.

Headmaster Mirza Mohammed Umar Baig was not only thrashed but was also held hostage for several hours before being rescued by police. Two persons have been taken into custody in this connection.

According to reports, a class 3 student at the primary school at Khaledubra under Tarabganj block in the district had refused on Tuesday to eat the midday meal, despite being asked to do so by his teachers, as it had been prepared by a Dalit woman.
The boy informed his family about the matter.

Police sources said the child’s elder brother Sushil Tewari and accomplice Durgesh Mishra of the same village reached the school later and started thrashing the headmaster for asking the boy to eat food prepared by a Dalit. They were also angry with Baig for employing her for cooking the meal.

Reports said Baig was held hostage when he tried to run away. He was rescued only after police reached there a few hours later. Both Sushil and Durgesh were taken into custody and charged with assaulting a government employee.

Baig said he had been receiving threats over the employment of the Dalit cook. The district officials said stern action would be taken against the offenders.

Earlier, there have been instances when members of the upper castes had also asked their children not to eat the midday meal if it was prepared by Dalits. In many schools in the state, the upper caste children still do not eat midday meal.

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