Axe on 3 for dead lizards in midday meal rice
The state education department suspended three persons, including an official of the department in Malda on Saturday, within 72 hours of dead lizards and rats being found in the rice container at a school.
The rice was supposed to be cooked and served to students under the midday meal scheme.
On January 11, some guardians demonstrated at the Bidyanandapur Primary School, which has 146 students and three teachers, in Kharba under Chanchal-II block of the district.
They alleged that children were fed vile food and demanded to see the rice and potatoes used in the midday meals.
Sources said that dead lizards and rats, as well as the excreta of these animals, were found in the rice container.
As the news spread, Malda district magistrate Nitin Singhania instructed the SDO of Chanchal and the BDO of Chanchal-II to conduct an inquiry and prepare a report.
“Based on the report, the DM recommended punitive measures against three persons and the education department suspended them. On Monday, the trio will get suspension letters,” said a source in the administration.
Those suspended are Ujjwal Kumar Saha Roy, teacher in-charge of the school, Abdul Hanif, the sub-inspector of schools of Kharba-II circle, and Swapna Sarkar, the education supervisor, a contractual employee posted in the circle who was supposed to keep tabs on the hygiene of midday meal.
The district primary school council has received the information in writing. The state director of the midday meal project of the department instructed immediate implementation of the order.
Basanti Barman, the district primary school council chairperson, said they would intensify vigil in all the schools across Malda. “What happened at this school was alarming,” she said.
Suspended Saha Roy and Sarkar have denied the charges. Hanif, however, could not be contacted.