After the 'namak-roti' episode, another controversy erupted in the mid-day meal scheme in Uttar Pradesh, after a shocking revelation that upper caste and lower caste children ate separately at a primary school in the state's Ballia district, about 425 km from here.
According to the reports, the upper caste children brought their own plates from their homes and preferred to eat their meal together and not with the children belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC).
The shocking incident was reported from the government primary school at Rampur village in the district.
The school teachers said that the children belonging to the upper castes did not want to have their mid-day meal with SC/ST children.
''We tried our best to convince them to shun such practice but they remained adamant...they bring their own plates from their homes... maybe they are told by their parents not to eat with lower caste children,'' said a teacher at the school.
The teacher said that the upper caste children used their own plates saying that they did not want to eat in plates used by the SC/ST children.
Sources in the basic education department here said that a probe had been ordered into the matter. ''Such a practice can not be allowed,'' said an official in Ballia.
BSP supremo Mayawati on Thursday sharply condemned the practice and demanded a thorough probe into the matter. ''It is really shocking... the guilty must be punished,'' she said.
Barely a few days back, a video showing 'namak-roti' being served to the children as mid-day meal at a primary school in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district, about 300 kms from here, had gone viral on the social networking sites.
Three persons, including two teachers of the school, were suspended in this connection.