The country's apex child rights panel Thursday sought a report from Karnataka after incidents of discrimination against poor students in defiance of provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) act were reported in the state.
The National Commission on Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also sought reports from all other state governments on any discrimination being faced by the EWS students.
In a shocking incident in Bangalore, four students from poor families, who joined a private school in the state under RTE, recently had locks of their hair cut off to differentiate them from other students.
Taking suo moto cognizance of the case, NCPCR has asked the state education department to investigate the incident and take necessary action. The commission has also sought an Action Taken Report (ATR) within a week.
"It has asked for details to ensure appropriate counselling to students and interaction with parents from weaker communities. Private schools in the state have been directed on RTE implementation," an NCPCR official said.
A statement from NPCR said it has "asked the secretary (primary & secondary education), government of Karnataka to get the matter investigated and take further necessary action".
The commission has also sought an Action Taken Report (ATR) within seven days containing details of the alleged victimisation accorded to the students in the said case.
The commission has asked the state government to "initiate necessary actions against the concerned school authorities and other functionaries, if found guilty, and ensure that the children get immediate counselling at the cost of the state".
The apex child rights body, headquartered in Delhi, has also directed all the states to take immediate action to ensure that no discrimination is meted out to children from poor families. In this regard, the commission has sought ATRs from all chief secretaries within 30 days.
Issuing guidelines to all state governments, the commission has directed all states to establish a Grievance Redressal Cell at district level for such complaints.
State governments have also been directed to hold meetings with principals and governing boards of the private schools and the school education departments have been asked to suspend the recognition of schools against which complaints of discrimination are proved and set up corrective measures expeditiously.