Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar has warned that parents who fail to send their wards to schools will be locked up in police stations without food and water.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, the ‘Divyangjan’ empowerment minister is reportedly seen addressing a party gathering and speaking vociferously against those who failed to send their kids to schools.
The term ‘divyangjan’ is used to refer to physically challenged persons.
“I am going to enact a law of my choice. If wards of poor do not got to school, their parents will be forced to sit in police stations for five days. They will neither be given food nor water,” Rajbhar said at Rasda area.
“If you (parents) do not send them (children) to school, you will be picked up by police. Till now your leader, your son, your brother was trying to make you understand. If you do not pay heed, I will continue to make you understand for six months more,” he said.
Drawing parallels from mythology, the minister said like Lord Rama had to take up arms to build a bridge to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from Ravana after his pleas to the ocean to pave way for him went in vain, “stern steps were required against the parents unwilling to send their kids to schools”.
“I am even ready for capital punishment for this,” Rajbhar added.
As the video stoked a controversy, the minister stood firm on his statement.
“I stick to my statement. What wrong am I saying if I am threatening to send them to jail? Why are they not sending children to schools when the government is providing all facilities for education,” he asked.
On asked whether he had talked to the chief minister regarding the matter, Rajbhar answered in the negative.
Image: The UP minister questioned why despite all facilities, parents weren't sending their children to school. Photograph used for representational purposes/Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters