Protesters seek reinstatement of suspended school principal

Ratlam, Jan 16 (PTI) A protest was held at Malwasa in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh on Thursday against the suspension of a government school principal over the distribution of notebooks carrying the picture of Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar on the cover.

During the protest organised by students and local residents, they demanded that R N Kerawat, the principal of Higher Secondary School in Malwasa, should be reinstated in service immediately.

The Congress government in the state suspended Kerawat on Tuesday, over two months after the notebooks were distributed to the students of his school by a saffron outfit.

'Students of the school and residents of Malwasa staged a road-blockade on Ratlam-Nagda road, about 15 kms from the district headquarters, in protest against Kerawat's suspension,' tehsildar Premshankar Patel said.

'The blockade created traffic snarls on the road. We later requested the protesters to call of the demonstration.

Kerawat also talked to them over phone and urged them to end the stir,' he added.

A delegation of students met additional collector Jamuna Bhide.

Meanwhile, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) submitted a memorandum to Ratlam district administration seeking that Kerawat's suspension be revoked within seven days, in the absence of which it will launch an agitation.

An organisation named Veer Savarkar Manch had distributed free long notebooks carrying Savarkar's picture on the cover to the students of Kerawat's school on November 4 last year.

However, a complaint had been lodged against Kerawat after that, on the basis of which a notice was issued to him.

An inquiry report was later submitted to the divisional commissioner, who then suspended Kerawat, an official had said.

The principal's suspension had led to war of words between the opposition BJP and the ruling Congress.

BJP national vice president and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had condemned the action against Kerawat and accused the Kamal Nath government of playing petty politics. However, the state Congress had hit back at him saying there was no political motive behind the principal's suspension. PTI COR ADU MAS NP NP