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Axe on duo over PM speech row

Two education department officials were removed from their posts on Wednesday for allegedly uploading on the department’s website a circular stating that the schools in three districts would have to arrange for broadcasting the Prime Minister’s programme on Teachers’ Day.

The government had showcaused the two officials and ordered a probe against them on Tuesday.

A source said showcause notices had also been issued to the inspectors of schools of the three districts — Nadia and North and South 24-Parganas.

Education minister Partha Chatterjee dubbed the removal of the two officials “routine transfer”.

“The government cannot take any punitive action against the officials as they are yet to respond to the showcause notices. The government will decide whether they would be punished or not after receiving their replies,” Chatterjee said.

The minister, however, made it clear that stern action would be taken against the officials if the probe found them guilty.

The notification, originally issued by the human resource development ministry, appeared on the school education department’s website at 5pm on Tuesday. It was removed at 6.30pm at minister Chatterjee’s behest.

The circular stated that the schools in the three districts would have to arrange for TV sets, projectors, screens and amplifiers for the 3pm-4.45pm broadcast on September 5.

“I have told the officials concerned that we can’t telecast the speech in schools as we have our own event on September 5,” Chatterjee said.