Schoolteacher suspended in Madhya Pradesh after taking part in Bharat Jodo Yatra


A primary schoolteacher in Madhya Pradesh’s Barwani district was suspended a day after he attended Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

The 48-year old teacher identified as Rajesh Kannoje has been in government service since 1997 and is a tribal activist known for working with social organisations such as the Adivasi Ekta Parishad. On November 25, Kannoje joined Gandhi’s Yatra with a bow and arrow decorated in a traditional tribal manner.

Speaking to the media, Kannoje said, “I first saw my suspension notice on social media and then was informed by authorities. I learnt that the action was taken based on a complaint. While it is not possible to find out who made the complaint, I do feel that it is political vendetta.”

Kannoje said that after meeting Gandhi, he had drawn the Congress MP’s attention to the plight of the Adivasis of the BJP-ruled state who he said had to fight for “jal, jungle aur zameen” (water, forests and land).

As per officials of the tribal welfare department, Kannoje was suspended for violating service conduct rules. He had, according to them, taken leave citing important work but attended a political event.

K K Mishra, chairperson of the Congress’s media department, criticised Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government. “The Chouhan-led government has allowed employees to take part in RSS shakhas but suspended Rajesh Kannoje for gifting tir-kaman to Rahul Gandhi at a non-political march.”


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