On Thursday, July 20, a case of religious discrimination against a Hindu student came to the fore from Bokaro in Jharkhand. A school teacher reportedly beat up a class 9 student for sporting a sacred thread (Kalawa) on his wrist to school. The incident occurred in a government-aided Missionary school called Carmel High School, Hindi Medium, situated in Bokaro Thermal in Jharkhand on July 18, Tuesday.
After getting the information, several members of Hindu organisations like the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad reached the school premises on Wednesday, July 19 and protested against the incident. They met with the school principal Sister Joyce Kullu A.C. and asked her to initiate an inquiry into the case and demanded immediate action against the accused teacher.
Those who met the Principal included Vishwa Hindu Parishad Dhanbad department’s organization minister Vinay Kumar, Bajrang Dal’s block convenor Saurabh Singh, Deepak Verma, Vinod Singh, Vikas Kumar, Somnath Nayak, Suman Kumar Thakur etc.
In what transpired, on July 18, Tuesday, a student named Karan Thakur reached school wearing a Kalawa on his wrist. The monitor of his classroom complained about this to a school teacher named Amit Lakda. The teacher, in turn, scolded Karan and asked him to remove the sacred thread. He told the student that wearing the sacred thread is forbidden in school and ordered him to remove it immediately.
The student, however, refused to remove the Kalawa, saying that it was a matter of his faith. Infuriated, the teacher started beating and humiliating him in front of the class. He put the student under such mental pressure that he began to cry and reluctantly cut the Kalawa tied to his wrist with a blade. The teacher reprimanded the student and asked him to get his father to school the next day.
The student went back home from school that afternoon and narrated the incident to his parents. The parents approached the Hindu organisations and gathered together at the school gate, staging a protest.
The accused teacher Amit Lakda, meanwhile, refuted tha allegations saying that all religions are respected in the school and that there was no discrimination against anyone.
According to a report by Jagran, the student’s family has also submitted a written complaint to the District Education Officer about the incident. When OpIndia contacted the DEO of Bokaro, Jagarnath Lagra, he said he received the information about the incident on Whatsapp on July 19 (Wednesday). He said that his department would look into the matter and speak to the school authorities to understand what happened.
Media reports have quoted the principal of the school Sister Joyce Kullu A.C. as saying that she did not have any information about the student being assaulted by the accused teacher. She further said that the School Management Committee will investigate the entire matter and only after that action would be taken accordingly.
Meanwhile, OpIndia also called the school numbers to verify this information about the incident, but the receptionist refused to divulge any details. She, in fact, abruptly hung up the call saying that she would talk after 5 minutes. After that, we tried calling on the same number several times, but each time the call went unanswered.