The head of an NDMC-run school in north Delhi's Wazirabad was suspended Wednesday for "segregating students" into Hindu and Muslim sections, the commissioner of the civic body said here while denouncing his action as "unimaginable" and "unpardonable".
"I was apprised of the allegations of students being segregated by our officials. We decided to probe the accusations, and unfortunately, they were found to be true. We have suspended the head of the school with immediate effect and initiated major penalty charge sheet against him," North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) Commissioner Madhup Vyas told PTI.
The Commissioner said the conduct of the official was "bizarre" and "unpardonable" and "goes against the grain of our pluralistic society".
C B Singh Sehrawat, a teacher, was made in-charge of the school in July after its principal was transferred, NDMC's Director of Education H K Hem said, adding a three-member probe team was sent on Wednesday to investigate the allegations.
The commissioner said, "During our probe, it was found that it was the school-in-charge only, who had initiated this segregation. These are children coming from the poor background and such acts would have deleterious effects on them. We will not tolerate such things, it is unpardonable."
Mayor of North Delhi Adesh Gupta said the school in-charge was "found to be guilty in the preliminary investigation".
"Social divide on the basis of caste, community or religion would not be tolerated in the schools of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation. NDMC follows the spirit of the Constitution. If any such divide is found to be in practice, it would be rectified immediately and strict action would be taken against those found guilty," the mayor said.
All municipal corporation-run schools in Delhi are primary schools. Teachers in other municipal schools expressed shock over it.
"Schools, a primary level no less, should be kept away from politics, and religion and caste matters should not be mentioned, for a balanced growth of a child. When a student enters a school, he or she is not a Hindu, Muslim or Sikh or Christian, but an Indian and that is how we should educate them," a teacher in a civic school in Karol Bagh said, on condition of anonymity.
"If the segregation is being done there, then it is condemnable, and we strongly disapprove of it. Schools should unite and not divide people, and these children are such impressionable minds, it will not bode well for their growth," he said.
Hem, the director of education said, the school has about 700 students and boys outnumber girls.
"It was the most shocking thing, I have never come across something of this nature in my entire career. We will conduct random inspections in other schools now, and if anyone is found guilty, we will take the strictest of actions," he told PTI.
"Sehrawat will now face a departmental inquiry, which would begin in a week's time, and his services may be terminated, if found guilty in the inquiry," Hem said.
The HRD Ministry Wednesday sought a report in the matter, while the Delhi government ordered a probe into it.
(With inputs from agencies.)