MP: Tribal School Teacher Suspended for Meeting Rahul Gandhi During Bharat Jodo Yatra

Bharat Jodo

Bhopal: A day after a 48-year-old tribal school teacher met with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi during Bharat Jodo Yatra to raise the issues of the tribal community, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Madhya Pradesh government sacked the teacher for “violating service conduct rules”.

Rajesh Kannoje, a teacher at a primary school in Newali Tehsil of Barwani district met with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on November 24 in Khandwa along with tribal leaders. He also gifted Gandhi a bow and arrow as a token of respect and raised the issues of tribal rights, the Forest Rights Act, the implementation of Schedule 5 and others.

The teacher was suspended on November 25, a day after he took part in the yatra. The issue came to the fore after his suspension order surfaced on social media.

Bharat Jodo

Appointed in 1997, Kannoje was posted at a primary school in a village named Kunjare – located 55 km away from the district headquarters. The school, which falls under the state’s Tribal Affairs Department in Kanasya, has a total of 27 tribal students.

Confirming it, NS Raghuvanshi, Assistant Commissioner of the Tribal Affairs Department said, “Kannoje was suspended for violation of service conduct rules and attending a political rally. He had sought leave citing important work, but he posted photographs on social media after attending a political event.”

 As per the order, Kannoje violated section 5 of Madhya Pradesh Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1965 by attending Bharat Jodo Yatra – a political rally on November 24.

Speaking to NewsClick, suspended tribal teacher Kannoje said, “Apart from being a school teacher since 1997, I have been working as a tribal rights activist for two decades. I often attend the rallies of tribal outfits and try to raise the voice of the oppressed class. But nothing troubled the government until I met Gandhi.”

Clarifying his stand he said, “I did not know that meeting with opposition leaders to raise the voice of the community is prohibited in the government services. I did attend the Yatra like a Bharat Yatra but as a representative of an oppressed community whose rights are being taken away.”       

Reacting over the issue, state Congress media department chairperson K K Mishra in a tweet said that the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has allowed employees to take part in the shakhas of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), but suspended a tribal, Rajesh Kannoje, for gifting ‘tir-kaman’ (bow and arrow) to Rahul Gandhi “during a non-political march”.

The yatra, which arrived in Madhya Pradesh on November 23, entered Rajasthan on Sunday.

(With PTI inputs)

Courtesy: Newsclick



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