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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Headmaster suspended for making children recite prayers of madarsas

  Updated: Oct 15, 2019 17:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

A headmaster of a government-run primary school in Giyaspur (Pilibhit) was suspended on Tuesday for asking children, including some Hindu students, to recite a religious prayer usually performed in ‘madarsas’ (Muslim religious schools).

The action was taken by district magistrate (Pilibhit) Vaibhav Srivastava on a complaint by local Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal activists.

According to them, ‘Saraswati Vandana’ and National Anthem should be recited as prayer. But headmaster Furqan Ali was making school children sing ‘lab pe aati hai dua ban ke tamanna meri’ (a song penned by prominent poet Iqbal recited in many Urdu schools and madarsas).

Taking cognizance of the complaint received and a video of the school assembly in which the song was being sung, the DM ordered suspension of the headmaster.

“I had directed basic education officer Devendra Swarup to probe into the matter. He found the charges to be true, following which the headmaster was suspended for deviating from the standard prayer prescribed in all government educational institutions by the education department,” said the DM.

Furqan Ali, headmaster of primary school at Giyaspur in Bisalpur block of Pilibhit, termed his suspension “arbitrary and unjustified.”

“School children are made to sing both the songs ‘lab pe aati hai dua ban ke tamanna meri’ and ‘itni shakti hamein dena daata’ and the National Anthem also. I have been doing this since 2011, but nobody objected to it,” he said.

The school has 267 students, the majority of which, according to Ali are Muslims. “Some political activists are trying to give a communal colour to this,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, Ramesh Mishra Vikas, local VHP chief, said the matter was serious and the headmaster should be dismissed from service “for an anti-national act.”

He said if action was not taken against the headmaster, the VHP would launch a movement.