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Karnataka School Headmistress, Parent Arrested for 'Abuse' of PM Modi in Play Against CAA-NRC

Women participate in a protest against the new citizenship law.

Women participate in a protest against the new citizenship law.

The arrested duo was produced before a court, which remanded them to judicial custody, said a police officer.

Bengaluru: Days after a sedition case was slapped against a school in Karnataka, the Bidar New Town Police on Friday arrested its headmistress and a student's mother for alleged involvement in staging of a drama portraying Prime Minister Narendra Modi in poor light over the the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The arrested duo was produced before a court, which remanded them to judicial custody, said a police officer.

The police action came after the two women, a few staff members of the Shaheen School in the district headquarters town of Bidar, and students were questioned for more than 2.5 hours on Thursday. Head-mistress Farida Begum and Nazbunissa, 26, the mother of the girl who had uttered the lines in the play, were arrested.

Speaking to a private news channel, Nazbunissa said she had taught her daughter the lines after watching a few YouTube videos.

"We had no intention to insult the prime minister. I should have stopped my daughter, but I didn't. So this whole episode is my fault and no one else is responsible. It was a mistake, which won't happen again," she said.

The FIR, filed on Sunday, was based on a complaint filed by a social activist named Neelesh who said the drama against the CAA "humiliated" Modi and could disturb peace in society.

Thouseef Madikeri, CEO of Shaheen Group, said the investigation is continuing and that the police have been visiting the school for the past three days, even locking up the control room on Tuesday.

"Right now the police have made two arrests, but since its under Section 124(A) it has been difficult to get bail, but we will pursue all legal remedies to seek justice," he said.

The drama was staged by students of fourth, fifth and sixth standards on January 21. A sedition case was booked by police on January 26 against the school, along with some other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The play uploaded on social media had gone viral. Officials said the utterances against the Modi were not part of the original script, but the mother of a class six student allegedly incorporated them during the practice and the teacher allowed it to be part of the drama.

(With inputs from PTI)

first published:January 31, 2020, 16:20 IST