Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati (File Photo)
Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has demanded strict action against officials responsible for making Dalit students at a primary school in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia sit separately for mid-day meals.
According to reports, Dalit students at the primary school in Rampur in Ballia were also asked to bring their plates from home for the meals and then made to sit separately when food is served.
According to some Dalit students, "Anyone can eat in plates provided by the school but we bring our own plates."
P. Gupta, principal of a primary school in Rampur, admitted that the practice continues even after the authorities told students not to differentiate on caste lines.
"We ask students to sit together and eat together but they go separate ways as soon as we leave. We keep telling them that all are equal but the lessons they have learnt from home are stronger. The students of upper caste do not let others from Dalit castes sit with them," he said.
Mayawati said in a statement that the state government should take action on this caste discrimination so that such incidents do not recur.