Unease at Mewat school after students allegedly forced to offer namaz, probe on
Teachers of the Mewat Model Public School, Madhi village, have alleged that a group of villagers barged into the school on Saturday and created a ruckus about the suspension and transfer of teachers for allegedly ‘forcing two students to recite the Quran and espouse Islam’.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and some district officials had visited the school on Friday to probe a complaint regarding the incident by the two students.
The Mewat Model School has 207 students enrolled with it, of which only three are Hindus.
The Mewat district administration on Friday had also suspended two teachers and transferred one after receiving complaints that they forced the Hindu students to offer namaz and “embrace Islam”.
“The area is Muslim dominated. On Saturday, some villagers barged into the school and blamed us for the suspension of the teachers. They hinted that we should have hushed up the matter,” one of the teachers said.
The principal of the school, Navin Shakti, admitted that some villagers had barged in but said that the police, which was present at the spot, brought the situation under control.
Santram, an arts teacher at the school, said the district officials had asked school authorities to keep mum and not interact with the media.
“We weren’t allowed to enter the hostel. The warden, who was also the social science teacher and has now been transferred to the Firozpur Jhirka school, blocked our entrance to the hostel,” Santram said.
The principal said the complaint she received on July 22 alleged that Muslim students of the school were forcing some students to “follow Islamic norms and even convert to Islam”.
“I only received complaints against students. The action against teachers was taken by higher officials based on some complaint they received. I am not aware as to why the teachers were shunted,” Shakti said.
Shamim Ahmed, project officer of the Mewat Development Agency (under which the school is run), said the matter came to light on July 22 when two students, Kaushal Vashist and Sagar Bhardwaj, asked for a School Leaving certificate. Ahmed is one of the members of the committee that will look into the incident.
The parents of Vashist and Bhardwaj pulled them out of the school hostel after getting to know about the incident.
Ahmed said that the parents then applied for transfer certificates to the Mewat DC and in their complaint, they named the three teachers involved in the incident.
On Friday, two teachers — an Urdu teacher and a political science teacher — were suspended and the social science teacher transferred.