Piyush Srivastava  Lucknow, February 20, 2014 | UPDATED 12:06 IST
 A headmaster was badly beaten and locked up in a room for many hours allegedly by upper caste men because he had hired a Scheduled Caste woman to cook mid-day meal in a school in Gonda district.

Mirza Mohammad Umar Beg, headmaster of Khaledubwa Primary School in Tarabganj area of Gonda district, was rescued by the police after suffering six hours of ordeal at the hands of the local goons on Tuesday. The police have arrested the two accused persons.

“I had employed a Dalit woman to cook mid-day meal because the post was reserved. Still, I had approached out of way many other non-SC women for the job. But they didn’t agree to work. However, there were some teachers who were against my decision and suggested running the school without midday meal till we get an upper caste cook. On Tuesday, a Brahmin student of third standard refused to take the meal. Later, his elder brother Sushil Tiwari reached the school along with another a villager Durgesh Mishra, and started thrashing me. They chased me when I ran away to save my life and locked in a room,” said Beg.

“They had been threatening me with dire consequences for the last one year. But I thought I would be able to convince them that it was not in my hand,” Beg explained.

Superintendent of Police Mohit Gupta said, “The two attackers have been arrested.” Gonda district magistrate Ajay Kumar Upadhyaya said, “I have ordered an extensive inquiry under chief development officer M.L. Pandey. Untouchablility of any kind wouldn’t be tolerated.

The villagers cannot punish a school headmaster for following the rules.”



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