Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Posted at: Jan 14, 2018, 2:26 AM; last updated: Jan 14, 2018, 4:43 PM (IST)

Entire school staff shifted for ‘harassing’ SC girl

Sanjay Bumbroo

Tribune News Service

Tohra, January 13

The Punjab Education Department today transferred all 16 staff members of Government Senior Secondary School in Tohra village of Patiala for allegedly passing casteist remarks against a Scheduled Caste girl student.

The action was taken by the Director, Education Department, Paramjit Singh, after Deputy Commissioner Kumar Amit recommended the transfer of the entire staff to “create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility”.

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Those transferred include Principal Jasjit Singh Bhatia, clerk Jasvir Singh and a chowkidar. Meanwhile, Narinder Kumar took charge of principal today.

The victim, Veerpal Kaur, a student of Class XI, and the villagers, however, said they did not favour the move 

to transfer the entire staff. Veerpal said the department should have only shifted the teachers and the clerk who passed casteist remarks against her. 

Expressing similar views, the villagers demanded that the department revoke its notification as it would hamper the studies of students.

A resident of Sahinwal village, Veerpal had accused some of her teachers and other staff members of passing casteist remarks, besides mistreating her. She had alleged that despite being the school topper, she was forced to sit on the back benches, and her name was not included in the merit list even as schoolteachers honoured other students.

All of this, she alleged, was being done at the behest of some villagers after she refused to help a boy copy during the Class X examination last year. The boy is a relative of the school clerk.

Veerpal had attempted suicide after being allegedly beaten up by students. Following the incident, the principal informed the police and the accused students and the clerk were arrested. Veerpal then claimed that she was told to take her complaint back and strike a deal with the staff if she wanted to pursue her studies.

She alleged that the former SHO at Bhadson police station had pressured her to strike a compromise with the boys accused of beating her up on the pretext that she would have to make endless rounds of courts in case she got a case registered. 

Forest Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot had ordered DC Kumar Amit to hold an inquiry into the matter after his visit to the school on January 11. 

Stressing that the Dalit strata of society was an integral part of Sikhism, the Akal Takht Jathedar had yesterday asked the government to take exemplary action against the guilty.


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