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2 suspended in Bengal for teaching 'dark skin is ugly'

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Kolkata, June 12 (UITV/IANS) The West Bengal government has suspended two school officials in Burdwan district on the charge of teaching from a book that mentioned dark-skinned people as "ugly". This comes in the backdrop of a large section of global society coming out against racial and colour discrimination.

The incident took place in the Burdwan Municipal Girls High School where the word 'ugly' was used in a reference book alongside a picture of a dark-skinned person.

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee took cognizance of the matter and suspended two school officials -- Shravani Mandal and Barnali Das, who were involved in the matter.

"The suspension is a part of a disciplinary action. We have already sought an explanation from the suspended duo on why they were using that reference book in a municipal school and encouraging racial stereotyping amongst students," Chatterjee told IANS on Friday.

The minister said that the book which mentioned dark-skinned person as 'ugly' was not a textbook published by the state government.

"They got the book from outside and were using it as a reference. We are looking into the matter very seriously," he said, dubbing it a malicious attempt.

Meanwhile, a section of parents of students studying at the Burdwan Municipal Girls High School also protested against the issue. They demanded withdrawal of the reference book with an immediate effect.