Case for dalits over prayer offer

Kendrapara: Police today registered a case under Scheduled Caste and Tribe (Atrocity Prevention) Act, 1973 following a complaint that a group of dalit students were not permitted to offer prayer to Lord Ganesha in a government-run school in Kendrapara district.
Over 50 dalit children studying in Chakada-Gogua high school in Mahakalapada area were allegedly disallowed to break coconut shells and offer prayer to lord Ganesh while upper caste students were allowed to do the same during Ganesha Chaturthi yesterday.
“We have registered a case. The incident is being investigated. Legal action would accordingly be initiated,” said Inspector Mahakalpada police station, Abhinav Dalua.
A separate probe by school and mass education department has also been ordered into the alleged caste-bound episode.
The administration has taken a serious view of the unfortunate incident. Directives have been served on the school and mass education department authorities to conduct an unbiased inquiry into the reported denial of puja rights to dalit children, said Kendrapara Collector, Niranjan Nayak.
Rabindra Nath Sethi, a dalit leader and president of Ambedkar – Lohia Vichar Manch, today sought immediate arrest of the perpetrators of the alleged crime.
“The dalit children were treated in a most abhorrent manner. They are deeply hurt by caste-discrimination. Caste bias in government-run educational institutions is in bad taste,” he lamented.
The schools and mass education department officials were not available for comment.