The Madras High Court bench here on Monday ordered notices to the Tirunelveli police and the Education Department officials on a petition filed by a headmistress belonging to a Scheduled Caste (SC) alleging caste discrimination in Panchayat Union Primary School, Nayakkarpatti.

The petitioner, S.Amali Annal, headmistress of the school, alleged that a caste Hindu teacher and noon-meal worker in her school assaulted her and prevented her from discharging her duties.

According to the petitioner’s counsel T.Lajapathi Roy, noon-meal worker Nagaraj and teacher S.Palaniammal forced SC students to clean the teacher’s toilet manually. When the issue came to the notice of the petitioner, she gave a complaint to the Assistant Elementary Education Officer on December 10, 2012, the counsel said.

The two then abused the petitioner verbally by referring to her caste, threatened her and assaulted her physically, because of which she gave a complaint at the Ayyapuram police station, he added. The Inspector of Police did not register a case because he belonged to the same community as Ms.Palaniammal, Mr.Roy said.

Ms.Amali gave complaints to the Collector, Deputy Inspector General of Police and superintendent of police on April 29, 2013 seeking a direction to the Inspector to register a case and provide protection to her, he added. However, the officials failed to consider the petitioner’s complaints, the counsel claimed.

Mr.Roy contended that the petitioner was subjected to ‘untouchability’ and she did not go to school from the time of assault on her fearing for her life. Therefore, he pleaded that police protection should be given to the petitioner to permit her to discharge her duties.

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