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At Mirzapur School, Cook Says Headmaster Ignored Request for Ration, Students Served 'Salt-Rice' Earlier

A government school in Mirzapur's Siyur village came under the scanner after a video, showing around 100 students being served an inadequate mid-day meal of salt and roti, surfaced.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:September 5, 2019, 3:23 PM IST
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At Mirzapur School, Cook Says Headmaster Ignored Request for Ration, Students Served 'Salt-Rice' Earlier
Screenshot of the incident.
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Lucknow: Amid uproar over booking the scribe who shot the video of students of a primary school in Mirzapur being served chappatis with salt as their mid-day meal, a flagship scheme of the central government, the cook of the school has alleged that she had flagged the issue to the headmaster but was asked to keep mum. The cook, Rukmani Devi, has also revealed that a week before the incident only rice and salt was served to the students as she had nothing else to cook.

Rukmani said, “I had made the rotis that day and as we had nothing else to serve them with, we gave salt to the students. It is the fault of Murari sir (headmaster) who didn’t give me anything [vegetables] to cook and the journalist was not at fault. Earlier, we also served rice and salt to the students.”

More than a week after reporting the incident, local journalist Pawan Jaiswal was booked for a criminal conspiracy. A case was also registered against two more people who had alerted him of the incident for “cooking up” the story and “putting forth wrong facts”. These include a representative of the Siyur village, from where the incident was reported.

On Monday, in a video message, Jaiswal alleged that he was being used as a scapegoat by the district administration after the matter came to the notice of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. “The district administration, in a bid to save itself, blamed me for the entire episode and registered cases against me. This is a direct attack on journalism; I am being used as a scapegoat in the case by the administration,” he said.

Earlier, when the incident was reported in the media, DM Mirzapur Anurag Patel suspended the headmaster and claimed that the reports of salt and roti being served for mid day meal to students were found to be true. “The issue has come to our notice and an inquiry was ordered in the issue. After the allegations of serving roti and salt were found true, two people Murari and Arvind Tripathi have been suspended and strict action will be taken further,” he said.

However, later Patel backtracked on his statement and claimed that it was a local village head representative along with the journalist who had cooked up the story. He started questioning the intent of the journalist by giving a bizarre logic and said that if the journalist was from print media then why was he shooting the video instead of taking a still picture.

“The scribe who has been booked in the case and he belongs to print media. If he was from print media then why was he making video of the incident? Rather he should have clicked pictures if he really wanted to cover the news,” Patel said.

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