Rape convict Ram Rahim in jail, worried parents want kids out of Dera school in MP

In the name of science exhibition, the students were taken to Bhopal and were shown a movie of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a city mall a few months ago

india Updated: Sep 18, 2017 07:22 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Ram Rahim,Rape convict Ram Rahim,Dera school
Several parents have filed complaints with the Sehore education department in MP, whose officials say they conducted an inquiry and found ‘no irregularities’ at Shah Satnam Ji Girls’ School.(HT File/Representative)

The conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim for raping two women has raised concerns among people in Madhya Pradesh, more than 1,000 km away from Sirsa, whose students study in a school run by the Dera sect.

Residents in Budhni, Sehore district, are worried about the future of their daughters who are students of Shah Satnam Ji Girls’ School.

The school, established in 2007 over 66 acres of land, has 433 students enrolled in it.

Many now want to send their children to another school and had approached the Shah Satnam administration for the transfer certificate but the latter refused, prompting parents to lodge a complaint with the district education department.

“People now ask questions about the school. If my daughter continues with her studies there, it will malign her image,” said a woman who did not wish to be named to keep the identity of her daughter secret.

Read more: Over 4,200 people recommended rape convict Ram Rahim for Padma award

Another parent said she was “unhappy” with the activities at the school and has vowed not to send her daughter there anymore.“In the name of science exhibition, the students were taken to Bhopal and were shown a movie of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a city mall a few months ago. The students were asked to bring Rs 300. I was upset with the school staff for this. With Gurmeet now exposed for his sins and judged a rape convict, I want to shift my daughter to some other school,” she said.

“In the name of science exhibition, the students were taken to Bhopal and were shown a movie of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a city mall a few months ago.”

The school had remained shut for a few days after the Dera chief’s conviction.

A Class 11 student, judging the school as “the best in our area” and who doesn’t want to quit, however, is worried about her future and isn’t sure “how the school administration will continue operating the school”.

A team of education department officials went to the school as part of its inquiry into parents’ complaints.

Block education officer GP Meena said, “We didn’t find any irregularities in the school. It’s a girls’ school and all the staff members are female and outsiders cannot gain unauthorised entry. We talked to at least 200 students and no one said anything negative about the school.”

The officer added that the school administration has nevertheless been asked to get all the teachers’ background verified by the police and also form a committee to which students can report complaints of sexual harassment, if any.

Unlike a raid on other premises of the Dera sect in Haryana, the district administration didn’t receive any such instruction for Budhni.

First Published: Sep 18, 2017 07:22 IST