Ballia: The district administration has taken serious note of a complaint that students of an aided inter college in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, are being punished for singing “Vande Mataram” or chanting “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and ordered an inquiry into it.

Members of social welfare organisation Manas Mandir, who visited the GMAM Inter College on Bilthara Road on Friday, found that the students in the institution were being punished for singing “Vande Mataram” or chanting “Bharat Mata ki Jai” after the school prayers and complained about the same to the authorities.

According to the manager of the organisation, Shiv Kumar Jaiswal, not only the students, but the teachers too have complained about the same on camera.

“Economics teacher Sanjay Pandey told us that there was a ban on singing Vande Mataram and chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai in the school and anyone doing so will be punished,” Jaiswal said on Saturday.

“Pandey told us that one student, who by mistake, had chanted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ after the assembly, was made to squat under the sun for hours,” he added.

“The students also told the members of our team that they were punished if they tried to sing Vande Mataram,” Jaiswal said, adding that he had already sent a copy of the complaint, along with the video recordings of the statements of the students and teachers to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

When contacted, district magistrate Bhawani Singh Khangaraut said the matter was serious and that the district inspector of school (DIOS) Narendra Dev Pandey was directed to look into it.

“Stern action will be taken against those found responsible for it,” he added.

The principal of the college, Majid Nasir, however, claimed that the complaint was a conspiracy to defame the institution.

The video containing the statements of the students and teachers has also been uploaded on social networking websites by the members of Manas Mandir.