Haryana govt institute segregates SC/ST students; puts them in separate wing
Headlines Today visited the recently inaugurated ST/SC wing of Narnaul Institute of Technical Training. The way it has been created clearly showed that the institute, meant to impart knowledge, has been giving the students lessons on discrimination.
Not too far away from the national capital, the college seemed to be treating the ST/SC students as untouchables as they were given special classes separately from general category students.
A student Pradeep Kumar said, "This is a move to segregate students. Everyone has the equal right to education. This is a move to spread casteism in the field of education."
"All students should study in the same building... This move to segregate students is wrong," said another student Sanjay Kumar.
However, the college administration gave a bizarre defence for the discrimination as principal Harminder Singh called it a "special privilege" for the SC/ST students.
Shockingly, the separate wing was inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Bhoopinder Singh Hooda himself. When an RTI activist sought information on whether an institute existed with separate buildings for SC/ST students, the reply was a clear "no".
RTI activist Manoj Vishwakarma said, "This move is aimed at branding SC/ST and Dalit students, which is a crime."
INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala attacked the Congress government over the issue. He said, "The present government is dividing people on the basis of caste and religion."
After facing flak for the insensitive move, the state government rushed to save face.
Haryana Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal said, "We have passed instructions that this practice should be discontinued and the board should be removed."
SC panel promises actionTaking cognisance of the matter after Headlines Today brought the discrimination by the institute to his notice the chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), P.L. Punia promised action against the institute and the state government.
"This is a serious matter. We will serve notice to the Haryana government and seek answer from them. This is not acceptable. We will take serious action," Punia said.
Haryana has recently seen a spurt in caste tensions. Thoughtless moves like creating a separate wing for SC/ST students in a government-funded institution can only further increase the resentment among people.