The Dalit students of Amthei's Banpurwa Government Primary School, who were lined up separately during their mid-day meals, have narrated several horrific incidents of which they were victims.
Beaten Up For Being Late
Speaking to The Indian Express, 10-year-old Jyoti Rao of the Banpurwa Government Primary School informed that they were thrashed frequently by the principal, Kusum Soni, for the smallest reasons, such as being late for school, compared to other kids.
"The headmistress is always late herself, but if someday we are even slightly late, we are beaten up. If we do anything even slightly wrong, we are beaten up," she said. Jyoti's sister Divyanshi was also a victim of this similar treatment.
Another student was thrashed for narrating Soni's casteist slurs and discrimination among students to his grandfather, who had approached the former with the complaint.
The grandparent, Jagnarayan, had visited the school to meet Soni, with the village pradhan, Vinay Kumar, who had received several complaints from the parents of discrimination and ill-treatment of their children. But they did not find her.
Jagnarayan, last week, also lodged a complaint with the SHO against the school head. Soni was suspended and booked under relevant sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act.
Soni spoke to the media and denied all the allegations levelled against her. "I have been working at the school for over four years, and such baseless allegations are raised. This whole thing started because I was late for school one day," she told The Indian Express.
Banpurwa Government Primary School is located in the middle of a wooded area in Amethi and has no proper route connected to the village. Reportedly, the school has about 38 students, of which 23 are Scheduled Castes, 11 of other backward classes, and four were from the general category.
The matter was brought to the attention of District Magistrate (DM) Arun Kumar. Basic Siksha Adhikari (BSA head Arvind Pathak) came to know about the incident through a tweet by the pradhan. Pathak visited the school, conversed with some parents and guardians about the discrimination issue, and ordered a probe.