A dalit woman was prevented from cooking for students of a school in Tamil Nadu as part of the noon meal scheme and shifted under pressure from members of an upper caste, prompting the National Commission for Scheduled Castes to summon senior officials of Tirupur district.
P Pappal, who was posted as a cook at Ocham palayam village in Tirupur district for the last two years, was shifted to the government primary school in her native Thirumalai goundan palayam village a week ago at her request. Some upper caste Hindus belonging to the Gounder community protested against her posting as she was a Dalit, police said.
Parents of children of Gounder caste also exerted pressure on the authorities concerned to transfer her, they said.
A group of people also stopped the management from opening the school yesterday, and the matter reached the Block Development Officer.
The BDO, police said, then cancelled the transfer and deputed Pappal back to her previous school in Ocham palayam. When the matter came to the notice of district sub-collector Shravan Kumar, he intervened and ordered that Pappal will continue to work at her village school in
Thirumalai goundan palayam.
An FIR has been registered against a number of people from the Gounder community in connection with the incident. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has, meanwhile, summoned senior district officials over the incident.
In its letters to the Tirupur Collector, Superintendent of Police and Chief Education Officer, the Commission has asked them to appear before Vice Chairman of the panel L Murugan in New Delhi on July 30 to explain why the Dalit woman was made to suffer "caste humiliation".