The teacher in charge of a North Delhi Municipal Corporation primary boys school in Wazirabad has been
suspended for segregating Hindu and Muslim students into different sections.
The Indian Express reported on Wednesday that the section-wise break-up of students showed segregation on religious lines. The teacher, C B Singh Sehrawat, had denied deliberate segregation, but said it “was a management decision to try and do the best we can to see that there is peace, discipline and a good learning environment in the school”.
According to sources, a preliminary investigation found Sehrawat guilty of segregating the students. “It was found that this segregation started in August, after the person took charge in July. He undertook this action without any kind of direction or guidance from any official from the education department. We received no information or complaint regarding this earlier. We were shocked when we heard about this,” said a senior official of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s education department.
According to a PTI report, the Union HRD Ministry has asked for a report. “We haven’t received any complaint yet but have read about it in media reports. I have asked for a report,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar was quoted as saying.
The Delhi government has also sought a report. “The act of segregating children in a BJP-governed municipal corporation school is a conspiracy against the Constitution. I have asked the education director to look into the allegations and submit a report by Friday,” Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia said.
The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights has sent a notice to the head of the school and the director (education), North Delhi Municipal Corporation, asking what procedure was followed in assigning sections to students. It has directed the immediate dissolution of the current sections and asked the authorities to “ensure homogenous distribution of students” within two days of receipt of the notice.
In a statement, Mayor, North Delhi, Adesh Gupta said: “Social divide on the basis of caste, community or religion will not be tolerated in schools of North Delhi Municipal Municipal Corporation… If any such divide is found to be in practice, it will be rectified immediately and strict action will be taken against those found guilty.” He confirmed that the teacher in-charge has been suspended and “major penalty proceedings” have been initiated against him.
“It is shocking that the seeds of hatred are being sown among children of such a tender age… When a child is sent to school, he is not told whether he is Hindu or Muslim, he is only sent to be educated and absorbs knowledge by sitting in a classroom with students from all religions… Which political leader or municipal officer’s directions are behind this action needs to be found out through a high-level investigation and strict action needs to be taken,” said Mukesh Goel, Leader of Opposition, North Delhi Municipal Corporation.