A mob gathered outside a municipal school in Prem Nagar, West Delhi pelted stones at the authorities and tried to break open the gates after finding out that ration was not being distributed. According to reports, a crowd of more than 500 people became agitated after finding the gate of the school closed. The school was locked following a Delhi government order that said all schools turned into ration centres will remain shut on Thursday to take stock of the ration received from godown and the amount already distributed.
Bharat Lal Meena, the principal of the primary school where the stone-pelting incident took place, said that after a circular was received from the Delhi government regarding submission of details of ration distributed so far, a notice was posted outside the school on May 13 clarifying that no distribution would happen on Thursday.
Mob fought with the staff, abused them
However, the mob started gathering outside the school from early morning itself, said Meena. The principal added that the staff, civil defence volunteers and paramilitary staff explained to them the reason behind no ration distribution, but the crowd fought with the staff, abused and accused them of stealing the ration meant for them.
“They even gheraoed teachers. When things went out of control and the mob started pelting stones, we had to dial police for help,” the Principal Meena added.
The staff somehow managed to shut the entrance and later police were called after the mob refused to disperse and continued banging on the gate and pelting stones.
Similar incidents in other schools
Prior to this, similar incidents have occurred at different schools, where teachers have been gheraod by a mob waiting for ration outside schools. The teachers from south and east corporation primary schools had earlier complained about similar incidents during ration distribution.
Taking note of the incident, North MCD commissioner Varsha Joshi said, “We have been writing to Delhi government about the issues being faced by the teachers on ration distribution duty. These issues are mostly arising due to non-availability of the list of beneficiaries or ration. Our officials have also been requesting the district magistrates for more civil defence volunteers and police personnel at these centres.”
Meanwhile, teachers have demanded protection while carrying out relief task during the pandemic. “We want immediate action for the safety of school teachers who are risking their lives by doing duties in odd circumstances. We are not against doing work during the corona pandemic, but we are teachers and not trained to deal with a mob,” said RamNiwas Solanki.
More than 1,000 Delhi government and corporation schools have been providing food at the ‘Hunger Relief Centres’ and ‘Ration Centres’ since April amidst the nationwide lockdown. More than 40,000 Delhi government teachers have been engaged on ration distribution duty. The hunger centres open at 8 am and close by 6 pm, daily. Rice and wheat flour are being provided as a standard ration kit.