Visuals of a protest outside an international school in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh showed up las evening (April 19). The parents and the Hindu activists demanded the school be sealed and shut down. They were raged over the fact that Hindu students were forced on reciting Quranic verses at the school prayer.
The school administration did suspend the principal but the parents continued to protest as they want the school to be shut down.
Protestors recite Hanuman Chalisa
The protesters recited ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ so as to register their silent protest in front of the BLS international school located at Aligarh Road. It is being reported that there is anger among the parents about making the students offer Namaz in the school.
They also demanded action against the teacher who reportedly asked the students to recite the Quranic verses.
A ruckus was created on the basis of some photos of the function that were made viral on social media. The photos are said to be from a school function on the occasion of World Heritage Day.
Kamal Sharma, the administrator of the school, told the media that on the occasion of World Heritage Day, a prayer assembly was held. Since it was the month of Ramadan, prayers were conducted. The allegation of removing Kalava and reciting Fatiha (Quranic verse) is baseless. The school authorities express regret over the incident.
Hindu activist Deepak Sharma while speaking with the media said, “In the name of so-called secularism the students studying at the school are not allowed to wear Kalawa or put tilak on their forehead but are forced to offer namaz and recite Fatiha at an event. This will not be tolerated, we want the school to shut down, if the authorities think that they can get away with them by merely suspending the principal then they are wrong”.
सैकड़ों बच्चों को एक साथ इस्लाम में मतांतरित कराने की साज़िश..!!
BLS स्कूल हाथरस में पढ़ाई गयी नमाज व फतीहा
— Shivam Dixit (@ShivamdixitInd) April 19, 2023
The protestors stopped a school bus carrying teachers and some staff. The bus was allowed to proceed only after the intervention of the police. Sharma in his statement made it very clear that they will only allow students to pass by the gate and no school administration before their demands are met.
After the protests, the school administration expelled Principal Sonia, and two teachers Irfan Elahi and Kambar Rizwan. Taking cognizance of this matter, the District Magistrate has constituted an inquiry committee. SDM will chair the inquiry committee and DIOS will be the members. The committee has been directed to submit the report after the investigation within five days.
“Chairman of BLS School Banwari Lal Sharma temporarily suspended the principal. The action was taken because the unsavoury photo of the principal went viral,” said the school on its Facebook page.
Similar cases reported in the past
A similar incident was reported in December 2022 when a principal at a government school at Bareilly forced students of recite a poem by Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
A Shiksha Mitra and the principal of a government school were reportedly booked for “hurting religious emotions” after a video of pupils reciting Muhammad Iqbal’s poetry “Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua” at the morning assembly went viral.
The Education Department also placed Shiksha Mitra Wazeeruddin under investigation and suspended Nahid Siddiqui, the principal of the school after the incident.
Notably, An FIR was filed against Siddiqui and Wazeeruddin at the Fareedpur police station in response to a complaint made by Sompal Singh Rathore, a local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) official, who claimed that a “religious prayer” was said at the public school in an effort to convert the children.
Watch the video here:
2 teachers in UP's Bareilly booked — for 'causing riot' — and suspended after video of school children singing a song from their Urdu syllabus goes viral.
Objectionable part is: Mere Allah burai se bachana mujhko (O Allah! protect me from the evil ways) pic.twitter.com/xBePwhS1q4
— Kanwardeep singh (@KanwardeepsTOI) December 22, 2022