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Kar: School Principal Suspended After Dalit Students Made To Clean Septic Tank

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In a shocking incident at Morarji Desai Residential School in Yaluvahalli, Kolar district, Karnataka, a group of students from Scheduled Caste (SC) communities were allegedly coerced into cleaning a septic tank purportedly used for human waste disposal. 

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The state’s social welfare minister, HC Mahadevappa, expressed strong condemnation for the incident, asserting that no responsible organization should employ children for such tasks. In response to the disturbing revelations, he promptly suspended Principal Bharathamma, along with teachers Muniyappa and Abhishek, and hostel warden Manjunath. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has also intervened, ordering a detailed report and assuring stringent action against the culprits.

Residential schoolchildren made to clean 'septic tank' in Karnataka's Kolar

Source: DH

Following the incident, state legal services authority chairman Sunil Hosmani, along with officials from Karnataka Residential Education Institutions Society and the social welfare department, conducted inspections at the school. The alleged exploitation was captured in videos where students, ranging from classes 7 to 9, were made to clean the septic tank under the supervision of the principal and a teacher. While school officials attempted to downplay the incident, claiming it was part of a cleanliness drive, a teacher, speaking anonymously, confirmed the presence of excrement in the pit.

The affected students, all belonging to the Dalit community, shared their distress in the videos. They not only described the harsh conditions they faced during the cleaning task but also alleged being subjected to various forms of punishment, including kneeling outside the hostel at night and physical abuse. These troubling revelations have sparked widespread concern and calls for justice.

Children made to clean septic tank in Malur residential school: Principal,  2 others suspended

Source: Vartha Bharthi

Parents of the affected children have expressed outrage, condemning the use of students for such degrading work. District child protection unit officer Nagaratna, who visited the school, affirmed that using students for such tasks is unacceptable and vowed to take action against the school authorities. Kolar district social welfare department joint director R Srinivas echoed this sentiment, recommending disciplinary action against the school staff and emphasizing the department’s commitment to preventing such incidents in the future.

The incident has not only stirred public outrage but has also become a focal point in the political arena. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has strongly criticized the Congress-led state government over the alleged exploitation of Dalit students. State BJP chief BY Vijayendra termed the incident as heinous and demanded strict action against the culprits. He further called for the resignation of Minister Mahadevappa, holding him morally responsible for the incident.

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