Bengaluru: Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said that the incident at Shaheen School in Bidar where a play was staged by students against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) is very serious and sensitive.
“Everything has been done as per law. The law is taking its own course. It is a very serious and sensitive case. I am gathering more details about the probe in the case,” Bommai told ANI.
Moreover, CEO of Shaheen Education Institute, Bidar, Tauseef Madikeri said, “Police have invoked Sections 124A, 505 and 504 of the IPC against the institution, over a play staged against CAA and NRC. It is beyond anyone’s imagination. Deputy SP visited the classroom and interrogated the students.”
Meanwhile, a statement was issued by child rights groups, teachers and educationists condemning the police interrogation in the incident.
“In blatant violation of the Juvenile Justice Act (2015), the New Town station police have repeatedly interrogated the school children, some as young as nine, without allowing their parents to be present, for hours at a stretch,” the statement said.
“The head-teacher of the primary section and the widowed mother of a child who took part in the play were arrested on January 30. With the judge in the District and Sessions court in Bidar on leave till February 4, there was no possibility to secure bail for the accused…This sequence of disturbing events including the interrogation of children for staging a play and the arrest of teachers and parents marks a new low in our democracy,” it added.
The statement alleged that the action by Bidar police is “is clearly violative of several fundamental tenets of our democracy”.
“The police interrogation of children is violative of the protections that children are* entitled to under the Juvenile Justice Act,” it said.
The statement further read, “We condemn these actions of the Bidar police department in the strongest possible words. The police are clearly acting under the dictates of the state government trying to use the archaic sedition law to target individuals and institutions expressing their dissent against CAA, NPR and NRC.”
“We demand the immediate withdrawal of all criminal cases against the accused, and the release of the arrested women,” it stated.
Police had questioned students of Shaheen School after a play against the CAA and NRC was staged during the Republic Day celebrations.
Karnataka police had sealed the offices of the school after its students participated in the play.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had protested alleging that the play was derogatory.
In the play, the participants were shown staging an anti-CAA sequence where there were dialogues encouraging non-cooperation with anyone asking for documents. A case was registered against the school management.