The Principal and Siksha Mitra of a government school in Uttar Pradesh have been booked for making students recite an Islamic prayer. The matter came to light after Vishwa Hindu Parishad complained about it with a video of the students reciting a prayer said in madrasas. Recently a video of students of government school in Bareilly saying Islamist writer Muhammad Iqbal’s poem as morning prayer.
VHP functionary Sompal Singh Rathore lodged a complaint with the local police accusing the Principal and Siksha Mitra of trying to lure students toward Islam and eventually convert them. Following this, an FIR has been registered against Principal Nahid Siddiqui and Siksha Mitra Wazeeruddin at Fareedpur police station. The complaint said, “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. Both the teachers are hurting the sentiments of Hindus and preparing for the students’ conversion.”
Basic Siksha Adhikari(BSA) who investigated the issue told The Indian Express, “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”. 625 students study in the school which has classes upto 8.
Principal Nahid has said that she wasn’t aware of the incident as she was on medical leave. She further said that Siksha Mitra Wazeeruddin had asked her permission to use the Islamic poem as prayer earlier but she refused to allow it. She accused Wazeeruddin of using her absence to make students recite the prayer. She has been suspended and a probe has been ordered against Wazeeruddin.
Police have recorded the statement of other teachers in the school and sent the video in which students can be heard singing the Islamic prayer for a forensic test. The poem which goes, “Mere Allah burai se bachana mujhko, nek jo rah ho us rah pe chalana mujhko…Lab pe aati he dua ban ke tamanna meri” was written by Mohammad Iqbal, an Islamist writer. It is used as a prayer in madrasas. In 2019, a similar complaint was raised against the headmaster of a government school for making students recite the same prayer.