TN: Niqab-clad student ‘harassed’ for months in Coimbatore school

The girl was asked about her parents occupation to which she replied her father was a beef stall owner

A 13-year-old student was allegedly slapped by her school teacher for wearing a niqab at the Girls’ Government HSS in Coimbatore.

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The incident occurred on November 10. According to a report by The News Minute (TNM), the incident happened when the girl was asked about her parents’ occupation, to which she replied her father runs a beef stall and her mother is a housewife.

The teacher is alleged to have made communist and casteist remarks saying, “You are this arrogant because you eat beef.” When the girl protested, she was slapped by the teacher. On November 20, the girl was forcibly asked to clean her classmates’ shoes with her niqab.

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On November 22, the girl’s parents lodged a complaint with the district chief education officer for harassment and mental torture for nearly two months by the school authorities.

The girl has been studying in the school for the last one year. “Since she started studying at this school, she has been wearing a niqab over her uniform until entering the school premises. Inside the campus, she would follow the school dresscode,” a family member was quoted by TNM.

When the incidents of harassment were brought to the notice of the headmistress, the authority assured the parents that it would not be repeated. However, this enraged the teacher who had bullied the girl for months.

On November 16, the parents brought the matter to the headmistress again. The headmistress told them that the matter would be taken into notice the following day and promptly asked them to leave.

But as the family was leaving the campus, they came to know that the headmistress had called the Thudiyalur police station and assistant commissioner of police (ACP) to complain that they (the girl’s family) were creating problems on the school premises.

The ACP pacified the girl’s parents and assured that their child would not face further discrimination. “But despite the assurance of the ACP, on November 20, our child was forced to clean the shoes of her classmates using her niqab,” the family member was quoted by TNM.

However, the headmistress vehemently refused all the allegations levelled on her and her staff members. Police said they have not received any complaints from either side.

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