Uttar Pradesh Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi on Monday condemned the filing of a first information report against a journalist who filmed students at a government school eating roti with salt as a part of their mid-day meal. Mr Dwivedi said he would initiate a probe in this regard.
Speaking on the issue, Mr Dwivedi told reporters: "We'll initiate a probe after having complete information from our department and Mirzapur's police officer."
There should be no action for revealing corruption or any such fact, the minister said. "I would only be able to tell you anything after asking for a report from the police officer about the incident," he said.
"We took a departmental action in the incident. But, first, we'll see the grounds of police action. Whether the action was taken in the same matter or any other matter, I would only be able to tell you after asking from them," he said.
In a video shot by a local journalist, children were seen eating rotis with salt as a part of their mid-day meal in Sioor primary school of Mirzapur district's Jamalpur division. The district administration has now filed a case against the journalist in Ahraura police station.
The case was allegedly filed against Sioor resident Rajkumar Pal and journalist Pawan Jaiswal under different sections of the Indian Penal Code including Section 420 by the Division Education officer following an order by the District Magistrate.
After the video went viral on August 22, the basic education officer was transferred, and headmaster of the school and other teachers were suspended.
However, the district administration, refuting the charges, said that the salt-bread was served with the motive to record this video only.
Reacting to the complaint, journalist Jaiswal said: "I exposed the matter that children are being served 'namak-roti'. Now, I have been made an accused by filing an FIR."
Mr Jaiswal said that when he reached to report the matter then the Panchayat Head's man told him that the children are being served salt and bread since three-four days. After that, he informed the concerned officer.
"I was shocked to see children eating 'namak-roti'. When I informed the DM, he said the matter is being probed, don't report it to media. The probe proved the allegation right and he had suspended two people," said the journalist.