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3 Muslim teachers suspended over ‘Love Jihad’; students cry foul

Muslim groups in Rajasthan called the suspension orders an attempt to create a polarised environment in the district ahead of the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections

Several students of a government school at Khajuri Odpur village in Kota district of Rajasthan have come forward against the suspension of Muslim teachers claiming that false accusations were levelled against them. Two teachers at Govt Senior Secondary School have been suspended while one is currently under investigation by the education department.

Several videos surfaced on the internet, showing a group of students in school uniforms arguing with government officials against the teachers’ suspension. In the video, the students are heard saying, “Bachon see galat byaan dila rahein hai woh (Children are told give false statements against the teachers).” Another student says, “Jinhone jhoothein byaan diyein woh padange hamein ya phir sir padhayenge (Who will teach us now? Those who spoke gave false statements or the teachers who got suspended?)”

You can watch the video here.

Another video has come forward where a student says he was forced to make false statements against the three Muslim teachers.

Kuch namaz nahi padaya jaatha tha. Teachers bhi ache the. Kuch nahi hotha tha school mein. Humko damkakar bola gaya tha ki aap aise bolo

(All the statements against the teachers are false. No such activities took place as being projected by some media outlets. We were forced to make those statements.),” he tells a reporter.

When the reporter asked if he was under any pressure now, the student denies saying, “Ab patha chal raha hai ki nahi bolna chahiye tha, galat hai yeh. (Now we are realising what happened was wrong).”

What happened?

Two days ago, on February 23, allegations of religious conversion and ‘Love Jihad’ emerged against three Muslim teachers – Shabana, Firoz Khan and Mirza Mujahid – of Government Senior Secondary School at Khajuri Odpur village in Sangod, Kota district.

Hindutva group accuses Muslim teachers

A Hindutva outfit named Sarva Hindu Samaj submitted a memorandum to the state education minister Madan Dilawar, who is also known to have strong RSS connection, claiming the three Muslim teachers were forcing students to convert to Islam.

According to the memorandum, one of the Hindu students used a Muslim name on her transfer certificate by the teachers. They also claimed that the teachers were involved with some ‘Jihadi outfits’.

Based on the memorandum, the education minister ordered an enquiry resulting in the suspension of Firoz Khan and Mirza Mujahid while Shabana is currently under investigation.

Education minister release statement

On February 23, the minister, in a video statement, said that the “allegation were true”.

“In the Khajoori village, Sangod panchayat of Kota district, the religion of a girl in senior secondary school was mentioned as ‘Islam’ in the transfer certificate, despite her being a Hindu. A conspiracy of religious conversion and ‘Love Jihad’ is happening there. Hindu girls are being forced to offer namaz. This has come to our notice,” Dilawar said.

“As soon as this was brought to my notice, I decided to take strict action against three teachers. In this context, I suspended two teachers – Firoz Khan and Mirza Mujahideen. Further action is being taken against one Shabana. All three of them have been sent to Bikaner,” the minister said.

“I will take strict action against them after a detailed investigation. If needed, I will expel them,” he added.

All three teachers have been ordered to report to the directorate of education, Bikaner during this period, as per the order.

Muslim groups denounce suspension

On February 24, Muslim groups in Rajasthan called the suspension orders an attempt to create a polarised environment in the district ahead of the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

National president of Urdu Shikshak Sangh in Rajasthan Amin Kamkhayani said, “While the suspensions are clearly aimed at political appeasement, there should have been a proper enquiry before direct action. What scope have they given to the teachers? And can children be forced to recite namaz when a majority of them belong to a different religion?”

The state president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Mohammad Nazimuddin and general secretary of Rajasthan Muslim Forum, said, “It is a one-sided action. After the regime change in Rajasthan, all these polarisation tactics can easily be viewed as political, with an eye on the upcoming elections. The action is one-sided and we condemn it. We also demand a fresh enquiry,” he said in a statement.

This post was last modified on February 25, 2024 8:37 pm

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