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Students, teachers barred from rallies in school hours

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Kolkata The state government has decided to issue a notification prohibiting students, teachers and non-teaching staff of schools from participating in any political rally during school hours.

The decision came on recommendations made by a four-member inquiry committee that probed a recent incident of students being picked up from a school for a political rally.

In an affidavit filed before the Calcutta High Court by Bikram Sen, Secretary, School Education Department, the government said it had accepted all recommendations made by the committee.

The government said departmental proceedings will be initiated against the headmaster and two teachers of the school for negligence.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice Ashim Kumar Roy had earlier directed the state government to file a report on the incident.

A group of students from Mathuranath Vidyalaya in southern Kolkata were lured by members of the All-India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), the student wing of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), to participate in a political rally on September 8.

The government also instructed the District Inspector of Schools, Kolkata, to file a police complaint against five persons for compelling students to take part in the rally.

The committee had pointed out that the headmaster should have been more cautious as workers of the political party concerned had been trying to convince students to participate in the rally for several days outside the school premises.

The four-member committee — comprising officials of the education department and chairman of the district primary education board — also recommended that show cause notice should be issued to two teachers for not bring the matter to the knowledge of the school authorities despite being informed by the students.

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