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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Peace School group chairman arrested in Hyderabad over use of objectionable study material

MM Akbar‘s Peace International School group has been accused of propagating communal hatred in the schools. The group is also suspected of having terror links.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2018 18:13 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram

The chairman of the Peace International school group, MM Akbar, was arrested at the Hyderabad international airport early Sunday in connection with a case of alleged propagation of communal hatred in schools run by the group, police said.

Kerala police had issued a lookout notice against him in early 2017 after it was found that the schools were allegedly using study materials intended to create communal divide.

“Our officers have left for Hyderabad to bring him back,” a senior police officer said.

Police said Akbar had flown in from Australia and was heading for the Qatari capital where he was currently based when he was arrested.

A spokesman of the Peace School group, who did not want to be identified, said in Kozhikkode that the chairman’s arrest was “part of a vilification campaign aimed at tarnishing a minority education group.” He said the group has faith in the country’s judiciary and will question his arrest in court. 

In October 2016, the Kerala Police had filed a case against Peace Educational Foundation which runs the Peace International schools in Kerala and neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for allegedly including objectionable study material in school curriculum aimed at disrupting communal harmony.

The state government had closed down one of the school branches in Kochi a couple of months back after the district collector and police chief submitted a report saying though the school was affiliated to the NCERT, its syllabus was quite different. The probe found contents of texts were radical and promoted enmity between different communities.

In December 2016, the Kochi police had arrested three Mumbai-based publishers for printing the textbooks containing objectionable content that were taught that Peace International School in Ernakulam.

The group came under the security radar after it was found that at least three of its staff members were among the 21 people who left their homes in 2016 allegedly to join the Islamic State. Out of 21, five have been killed.

Abdul Rashid, the alleged leader of the group which went missing, was a public relations officer with the school group before he disappeared. Similarly Yasin Ahmed, who was arrested at the Delhi airport on way to Turkey last year, taught English at the Malappuram branch of the school.

Akbar who used to visit Kerala on and off, never visited the state after the 21 people disappeared.

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 19:20 IST