Behrampore: Segregation of Hindu, Muslim students in West Bengal attracted attention of Block Development Officer who have directed the school authorities to end the practice that divides children based on religion.
According to sources, the school authorities in Murshidabad district have been segregating Hindu, Muslim students before serving them mid-day meals cooked in separate utensils, HT reports.
Block development officer Rabindranath Bairagya under which the Ramdoba Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra falls, said: “After I came to know about the incident recently, I sent my team to the school on Friday. I have directed that food should be cooked for all the students together and there should not be any segregation. The administration will not tolerate any such practice on the basis of religion.”
The school has 329 students of whom195 are Hindus and 124 are Muslims, who belong to Basantapur and Ramdoba villages.
While Muslims comprise a majority in Ramdoba, most of the residents of Basantapur village are Hindus.
“Trouble began in 2010, when, for the first time when guardians of students from Basantapur village refused to allow their children to eat mid-day meal with the students from the Muslim community. They would not budge from their position despite our efforts several times not to insist on segregation,” said Ashim Kumar Das, a science teacher of the school.
Another teacher Deepak Kumar Das speaking on the segregation system said: “We tried to put a stop to it several times. I have eaten food from the plates of the students of the two religious communities, but the guardians and cooks resisted us.”
According to these two teachers, the school have separate ovens and utensils to cook meals for the Hindu and Muslim students.
They also said the students are segregated on religious lines before serving the government run mid-day meal.
Meanwhile, the School headmaster Pashupati Ghosh did not respond to phone calls.
“The school is closed during the weekend and it would be known only on Monday whether the instructions are followed or not. School teachers said all will depend on the reaction of parents and cooks,” said the BDO.
Trinamool Congress legislator and minister Jakir Hossain commenting on the incident said: “I came to know about the segregation on Thursday. I shall visit the school and ensure that such practices do not continue.”