Schools students mires in controversy over Dalit woman appointment
A few students of a school, mired in controversy over the appointment of a Dalit woman for the cooking noon meal, took ill after eating the food in a suspected case of food poisoning even as she claimed it to be a conspiracy to throw her out.
As many as 12 students of Thirumalaigoundanmpalayam government school in neighboring Tirupur district were hospitalized yesterday as they complained of vomiting after taking the noon meal, police said.
Parents of the children alleged that a dead lizard was found in the food, following which the school headmistress Sasikala lodged a complaint of the negligence of duty against P Pappal, the cook.
However, Pappal said she and her daughter had also taken the food and claimed that the allegation of food poisoning was part of a conspiracy to remove her from the school, police said.
The incident comes a day after Pappal's husband had petitioned the district administration in Tirupur seeking police protection over concerns of his family's safety.
Pappal was transferred to another school last month after the parents of children of Gounder community had opposed to her posting as the cook at the school and exerted pressure on the authorities concerned to shift her.
However, after the matter reached higher officials, she was reinstated at the school and cases were registered against 87 people in connection with the incident.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has also taken cognizance of the matter and sought explanation on the 'humiliation' meted out to the Dalit woman.
Chief Educational Officer S Shanthi besides senior district, health, and police officials carried out an inquiry into the suspected food poisoning, police said adding further investigation was on.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)