She reportedly said functions should be held without affecting class hours

The Opposition Left Democratic Front stalled the proceedings of the Kerala Assembly on Wednesday accusing Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb of acting vindictively against the principal headmistress of Government Cotton Hill High School for Girls in Thiruvananthapuram, who had displeased him at a function in the school recently.

Principal headmistress K.K. Urmiladevi, in the presence of the Minister at a function on June 16, had reportedly said such functions should be organised without affecting the class hours. The function, organised by the District Centre for English in connection with the opening of an ‘English Club’ in the school, was delayed by one-and-a-half hours since the chief guest—the Minister—had arrived late. She received an order for transfer from the school on Wednesday.

Raising the issue as an out-of-list submission in the House, V. Sivankutty of the CPI(M) asked whether this was not sheer vindictiveness. He asked the Minister to explain to the House the offence the principal headmistress was guilty of and said Ministers were not supposed to act like emperors.

Mr. Rabb said the department had inquired into principal headmistress’s conduct at the function and the report had recommended stronger action than transferring her from the school. It was due to humanitarian considerations that she was given the order to join a school located in the same district. According to the inquiry, she had shown disrespect to the VIPs attending the function in her school. He said the school gate had remained closed when he arrived for the function and he was made to wait for the gate to open. Mr. Sivankutty said he would remind the Minister that the duties of a school principal did not include standing watch at the school gate.

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