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Bengal School 'Asks' Teachers to Maintain Religion Column in Attendance Book, Suspends 1 for Protest

Teachers, who alleged that the Principal had insisted for a separate column in the attendance register for Hindu and Muslim students, held a ‘pens down’ protest against the principal on Monday.

Prema Rajaram | CNN-News18

Updated:July 15, 2019, 8:10 PM IST
Bengal School 'Asks' Teachers to Maintain Religion Column in Attendance Book, Suspends 1 for Protest
(Representative Image)

Kolkata: In a shocking incident, a school teacher in West Bengal’s Asansol was on Monday suspended for protesting against a principal who allegedly asked to maintain a separate column in students’ attendance register marking their religion.

Mohammad Shabaz Hussain, a karate teacher at Narayana School in Asansol in Burdwan district, was suspended from the school by the principal Mahim Fatima. Hussain, who accused the principal of trying to discriminate the students on the basis of religion, said he was not given a proper explanation for his removal.

“I don’t know the reason why I have been suspended. I was called by the principal a few days ago and told in front of parents to side with them as I am a Muslim like them. I refused to do and said this is a school and this should not take place in such an environment. I am here to stand by all children,” Said Mohammad Shabaz Hussain.

Teachers of the school refused to teach the students on Monday and held a ‘pens down’ protest. They allege that the Principal on Saturday had insisted for a separate column in the attendance register for Hindu and Muslim students. Meanwhile, teachers from another branch of the school were called in to conduct classes.

“Ever since the new principal Mahim Fatima took charge 8 months ago, the division between Hindus and Muslims had become prominent. Whenever there was a problem, the principal used to call the Muslim parents and ask them to speak against us. In 4 years, I have never seen a separate attendance register for Hindu and Muslim students,” a teacher of Narayana School said.

The Principal, however, denied the allegations and accused the teachers of misbehaving and not working properly.

“Parents had complained about the teachers and they were not willing to listen to me. They have insulted and abused me. It has never happened that I promoted the Hindu-Muslim division. I have Hindu staff around me right as well. The parents too will tell you that there is no truth in what teachers are saying,” Said Mahim Fatima.

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