The ‘roti-salt’ controversy at a government-run school in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur refuses to go away. Even as the debate rages over the entire episode and subsequent case slapped on the journalist, who exposed the brazen carelessness by the authorities concerned, a latest media report says that the students at the school were served rice and salt before the roti-salt video became viral. According to a report by The Indian Express, parents of the students studying at the government primary school said that rice and salt used to be served to students under the midday meal scheme.
The Indian Express report quoted Rukmini Devi, a parent of a student, who is also one of the cooks at the school. She said that when she raised the issue of poor food being served to kids, she was asked to keep her mouth shut. Meanwhile, the NHRC has issued notice to UP chief secretary over salt and rotis in midday meal at state-run primary school in Mirzapur.
On Tuesday, the state government booked the journalist who filmed the incident. A case was filed against Pawan Jaiswal, the journalist by the Uttar Pradesh government for hatching 'conspiracy' to defame the state government. Along with Jaiswal, two others have been alleged of ‘botching’ the story and putting up ‘wrong facts’.
The video showed students at primary government school in Mirzapur being served plain chapatis and salt under midday meal scheme. The food was served under the flagship programme. Though the website of the Uttar Pradesh mid-day meal authority shows pulses rice, rotis and vegetables as part of the menu, the ground reality appears from the claims.
The Bahujan Samaj Party has slammed the Yogi Adityanath government for providing chapatis with salt. State government is “taking action against all those people who are raising questions against their failures”, ANI quoted party’s spokesperson Sudhindra Bhadoria.
After the photos went viral on social media, the authorities sprang into action. Reacting to the development, District Magistrate Anurag Patel said, "negligence happened at teacher and supervisor's level. The teacher has been suspended. A response has been sought from supervisor."