An education department officer in Odisha's Sundergarh district had been placed under suspension for eating chicken curry in a school while the children were served rice and dal only under mid-day-meal scheme, officials said on Saturday.
Sundergarh District Collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan suspended Binay Prakash Soy, Block Education Officer (BEO), Bonai, after a video of the BEO eating chicken curry brought from outside alongside the school children went viral, the officials said.
"Soy is hereby put under suspension with immediate effect pending finalisation of disciplinary proceeding for such gross misconduct, dereliction of duties and inappropriate behaviour during delivery of public service," the order issued by the Collector on Friday said.
The incident took place at Tileimal Project Primary School in Bonai during the visit of the BEO on October 3 before Dusshera holidays. Soy had been to school to review the functioning of the Mid-day Meal (MDM) programme.
The BEO received a warm welcome from headmaster Tupi Chandan Kisan and other teachers as soon as he reached the school. After visiting the MDM kitchen, Soy preferred to sit with the students for lunch.
Though the students were excited to find the BEO sitting among them for the lunch, they were served only rice and dal. However, the Soy and other teachers were served chicken curry and salads, the video showed.
Soy, however, denied the allegation and said that: "The curry served to him was not chicken, but a vegetarian food brought for him by a woman teacher from her house."
The incident has sparked a strong resentment among the local people forcing the district collector to order a departmental inquiry into the matter.