Attendance improves at controversial Kuppegala school

Villagers irked over delay by dist admin to respond to woes

The attendance of the Kuppegala school, which was at the centre of a controversy during the past few days, improved on Monday, with a majority of them attending classes.

Students of the school, oblivious to the dispute regarding the practice of “untouchability”, participated in the midday meal programme, in the presence of seers from various mutts in the State. Meanwhile, members of Dalit community, who had gathered outside the School, expressed their anger over the disability of State government and district administration to root out such practises.

During the day, in a programme organised by Hindulida Vargagala Jaagruthi Vedike, seers, Basava Murugendra from Chitradurga, Thipperudra from Gauli Gurupeeta and Basavalingamurthy, participated in the midday meal programme.

Of the150 students enrolled in the School, 138 students were present.
 Dalit cook, Manjula, whose appointment had resulted in students of upper caste communities rejecting midday meals, was also served food by the seers, to create awareness against discriminatory practices.

Irate villagers

The event, which allowed only a few persons of the village to participate in the midday meal programme, attracted the wrath of members of Dalit community. This resulted in a tense atmosphere outside the school.

Mahadevaiah, former member of Kuppegala gram panchayat, complained that the State and district administration had failed to respond to the woes of the villagers. “Even though a tense situation has prevailed in the village, neither Deputy Commissioner, C Shikha or other officials, held a meeting with the leaders of the village, to sort out the disputes.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had studied in the same school, too has turned a blind eye to the problems faced by Dalits in the village,” he said.

He demanded that a meeting be convened by the district administration to ensure harmony in the village.

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