Following a complaint by the right-wing Hindu group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), police in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly have booked the principal of a government school and a shiksha mitra for “hurting religious sentiments". VHP’s local functionary Sompal Singh Rathore raised a complaint after the video of students reciting Muhammad Iqbal’s poem, “Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua", during a morning assembly went viral. Rathore alleged that the poem, written by the same author who penned “Saare Jahan Se Achccha", was a “religious prayer" recited to convert students.
According to Indian Express, Rathore lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against school principal Nahid Siddiqui and shiksha mitra Wazeeruddin. He said that the “teachers Nahid Siddiqui and Wazeeruddin were making the students reciter prayer as per Muslim method with an intention to hurt sentiments of the Hindus… This is being done by the two teachers to attract students towards Islam…" Apart from the police booking them, the Education Department also took action against the two. It has suspended Siddiqui and mandated a probe against Wazeeruddin.
Vinay Kumar, Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA), Bareilly, said that “a prayer was being recited which said something like, ‘Allah ibadat karna’. This is not the stipulated prayer, and hence school principal Nahid Siddiqui has been suspended. I have also ordered a probe against the shiksha mitra."
The line is referred to actually says, “mere allah burai se bachaana mujhko."
Siddiqui, a 62-year-old, has said that she was not aware of such a thing happening at the school. Meanwhile, 62-year-old Nahid Siddiqui said that she was not in the school as she was on medical leave from December 12 onwards. “Before I went on leave, we recited the stipulated prayer ‘Ae Shakti Humein Dena Data’ every day along with the national anthem. In my absence, the shiksha mitra got ‘Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua’ (by Muhammad Iqbal) recited during the morning assembly."
She also said that she had refused a request by the shiksha mitra to have students recite this poem in the past.
A complaint by VHP had led to the headmaster of a government primary school in Pilibhit’s Bisalpur area getting suspended three years ago, too. Back then too, local VHP functionaries had claimed that the teacher made students recite “Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua", which they claimed was a religious prayer.
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