3 booked for allegedly opposing singing of national anthem on I-Day in UP madarsa

A video purportedly showing two teachers and a Muslim cleric trying to prevent madarsa students from singing the national anthem during Independence Day celebrations was widely shared on social media, police said.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2018 14:28 IST
Uttar Pradesh,UP madarsa,Independence Day
College students click selfie during the Independence Day celebration, in Mumbai on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. (Image used for representational purposes only)(PTI)

A case of treason against two teachers and a Muslim cleric was filed in Badgo locality of Maharajganj district after a video, purportedly showing them trying to prevent madarsa students from singing the national anthem during Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday, was shared widely on social media, police said.One of the accused has been arrested and a hunt was on to nab the remaining two, they said.

The incident took place at Madrasa Arabia Ahle Sunnat Anware Tayyaba Girls’ College when the madarsa staff and children gathered to hoist the national flag on Independence Day.

Taking serious view of the incident, the UP Madarsa Education Board has sought a report from the district magistrate of Maharajganj and said it may cancel the registration, suspend all financial assistance under the government’s madarsa modernization scheme and initiate action against the madarsa in question.

“A video showing some antisocial element trying to prevent madarsa students has come to light. This is a serious issue. We would like to point out that directives were sent to all madarsas on August 13 to celebrate the I-Day with usual fanfare,” said SN Pandey, registrar, Madarsa Education Board, in the letter to the DM.

In the video, the cleric Junaid Ansari, who is not associated with the madarsa, is seen stopping children and staff from singing the national anthem.

Additional superintendent of police (ASP) Ashutosh Tripathi said a case had been registered against Juned and two other people. “Junaid allegedly opposed the singing of national anthem in the madarsa, saying it was not permissible in Islam,” the ASP said.

According to police, the three accused were booked under sections 124-A (sedition) and 153B (imputation assertion prejudicial to national integrity) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, Criminal Law (Amendment) Act and the Information Technology Act on the complaint of Sunil Tripathi, who teaches science under Madarsa Modernisation Scheme. Sunil Tripathi also handed over the video clip showing Junaid opposing singing of national anthem. Junaid was arrested on Wednesday while efforts were on to nab the other two accused, police said.

District minority officer Prabhat Kumar, who was asked by Maharajganj district magistrate Amarnath Upadhyay to probe the matter, said: “Juned has been booked and arrested. Later, the students sang the national anthem.” When asked about the role of principal, he said he did not prevent the singing of national anthem.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 14:28 IST