Damoh school’s ‘hijab’ row: Now bulldozing action against unauthorized constructions in the school

A time of three days had been given to the school in the notice issued by the local municipality, which expired at 3 pm on Tuesday, thus paving the passage for the anti-encroachment drive.
Bulldozer image used for representational purpose. (Photo | ANI)
Bulldozer image used for representational purpose. (Photo | ANI)

BHOPAL: Two days after the arrest of three persons, including the school’s principal in the case pertaining to allegedly forcing non-Muslim girl students to wear ‘hijab’ in Ganga Jamna Higher Secondary School, a major portion of the concerned school in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district was bulldozed as part of the removal of unauthorized constructions in the school on Tuesday.

Teams of local municipalities reportedly were engaged in the demolition of the first floor of the school (which was constructed by the school without permission of the competent authorities) at the time of filing this news report on Tuesday.

According to a senior Damoh district police official, the local municipality had recently served a notice to the school (a central government-aided minority school) in connection with unauthorized construction in the school’s premises.

A time of three days had been given to the school in the notice issued by the local municipality, which expired at 3 pm on Tuesday, thus paving the passage for the anti-encroachment drive inside the school’s premises.

Just a few hours before the demolition action by the local municipality in Damoh district, the state’s home minister Narottam Mishra, back in Bhopal, had indicated the anti-encroachment drive inside the school’s premises. He had also assured that the future of the 1200-odd students of the school won’t be allowed to be affected by a series of actions against the school. “We’ll ensure that alternative arrangements are made for the education of students of the school elsewhere,” Mishra said.

The encroachment removal action against the school happened two days after three persons (who are among the 11 members of the school’s management committee) named in the June 7 FIR lodged against the school were arrested. The FIR was lodged on June 7 for allegedly forcing non-Muslim girl students to wear a scarf like a ‘hijab’ in school and also compelling non-Muslim students to sing prayers of the other religion, besides forcing Hindu students to allegedly remove religious objects worn by them.

The FIR had been lodged by Damoh Kotwali police based on statements of three Class VI and VIII students on June 7. Earlier, on June 2, the MP government had suspended the concerned school’s recognition for allegedly violating state government rules pertaining to recognition of secondary and higher secondary schools.

The school had landed in controversy a fortnight back over its poster, congratulating its MP Board Exam topper boy and girl students.

The right-wing Hindu outfits had started protests in Damoh town, accusing the school management of forcing non-Muslim girls shown in the poster to wear ‘hijab,’ even though their allegations weren’t proved correct in the initial probe by the Damoh district education officer.

A subsequent probe against the school following directions from the state’s CM and home minister, led to a high-powered committee start probe against the school, besides a probe against the same school by the state commission for protection of child rights.   

Related Stories

No stories found.
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com