Bhopal: The state government has suspended the principal of a government high school in Ratlam district where notebooks carrying pictures of Veer Savarkar were distributed for free among students.
The Ujjain divisional commissioner issued the suspension orders of principal RN Kairawat, an awardee of the President’s Medal, on Tuesday.
The move has not only anguished locals, but also the students of the school, who staged a protest on Wednesday against the government for suspending their principal.
According to locals, a volunteer organisation, Veer Savarkar Hitarth Jankalyan Samiti, had distributed these notebooks among the students on November 4 last year. The books had pictures of Savarkar along those of the NGO’s office-bearers.
A complaint was lodged a few days later, though the action against the principal was initiated only on Tuesday.
After the volunteer organisation uploaded photographs of the said event on social media, a fan group of the Congress intimated the party IT Cell in Bhopal following which a complaint was lodged with the Ratlam collector.
The collector then directed the district education officer (DEO) to probe into the allegations. On being asked about the distribution of the said notebooks, the principal had reportedly said it was done for the welfare of students. Each student was given two notebooks each.
However, the DEO recommended action against the principal saying the said event was organised without permission from the Department of School Education.
Several employees’ union have also criticised the government move and extended their support to the principal saying various NGOs distribute different items among students and such an action would only create fear among teachers.
Minister of School Education Prabhuram Chaudhary told reporters that it was principal’s duty to monitor what was being distributed among students.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said hatred towards Veer Savarkar has blinded the Kamal Nath government and hence, it was insulting great personalities. “It’s saddening to see a principal honoured by the President of India in the past has been suspended like this,” he wrote on Twitter.
The school is known for its excellent results in board exams for which the principal was felicitated by the then President Pratibha Patil in 2010.