The Meghalaya High Court came down heavily on the headmistresses of two schools, the students of which took part and raised slogans against the cremation of a person belonging to the indigenous faith.
Justice SR Sen reiterated the observation made in an earlier judgment wherein the problems faced by members of indigenous faith (Seng Khasi) with regard to cremation of their dead was highlighted.
The instant case is also related to the ‘cremation’ issue, and one Ka Babymola Buhphang had approached the high court complaining about the protests and abuse she faced during the cremation of her husband. She told the court that the protestors included school children and government employees despite the day being a school/working day.
The judge remarked: “If the children are not being taught properly about the Constitution, religious tolerance and mutual respect, what will be the fate of this country? Parents send their children to school to make them good citizens of the country and not to become hooligans. If a Headmistress cannot control the students, then they have no right to hold such a post.”
The court also took note of the submission that students in these two schools are being treated differently and there is discrimination amongst the students, as the students belonging to the indigenous faith are being asked to sit separately. “It is really shameful for all of us and I repeat, that society should wake up and look into these types of issues and help India become ‘One Country, One Nation and One Family’,” the judge observed.
The court then directed the Superintendent of Police, East Khasi Hills district, to look into the pending FIR and also directed the DPI, School Education to send surprise periodical inspection team to see that the school should function without any favour or discrimination where students can study without fear.
The court also directed parties to maintain peace and harmony in the locality and not to disturb each other or spread any kind of hatred. “Violation of this judgment and order shall attract ‘The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971,” the judge said.