Uttarakhand: Upper-caste students at govt school refuse to eat Dalit cook’s food

A number of upper-caste students in a Uttarakhand government school had boycotted mid-day meals prepared by a Dalit cook.

The same incident happened few months before also.

Around 7-8 students have again refused to eat the food cooked by Sunita Devi — who had been sacked in the aftermath of the caste-based violence in December, before being reappointed, the principal of the school in Champawat district, Prem Singh said to reporters.

In December last year, around 66 upper-caste students at the school refused to eat meals prepared by Sunita. Days after the incident, Champawat district officials sacked the Dalit cook, citing procedural lapses in her appointment.

Days later, 23 Dalit students at the same school refused to eat the mid-day meals cooked by an upper-caste woman who replaced Sunita.

Following the sacking, Sunita filed a complaint under the SC/ST Act and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. Soon after, the district administration announced that she would be reinstated.