HUBBALLI: An inquiry has been ordered by the education department in Gadag district against the principal of a government school for allegedly holding an essay competition on Prophet Muhammad on school premises. Last week, Principal Munaf Bijapur organised a writing competition for the students and had also announced attractive cash prizes for the winners. Some parents who came to know about the competition inquired with the school authority. On Tuesday, members of a right-wing organisation visited the school in Nagavi village, demanding action against the principal.
The protesters picketed the headmaster and abused him. They demanded his resignation. The group left after the Gadag Rural Police team arrived and pacified them. Gadag BEO N M Naduvinmani visited the school and held a meeting with the authorities. “An inquiry has been ordered against the principal of the school. After the inquiry, suitable action will be taken,” he said.
“The principal is a government employee and he should teach what is in the syllabus. The principal had tried to lure the children by offering Rs 5,000 for the first prize and Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 for the runners-up. What if it is an attempt at conversion. The principal must be suspended and police should probe the case,” demanded the protesters.
Principal Munaf Bijapur tried to convince the crowd. “I organised the competition without any wrong intentions. Noted Muslim leader from Gadag Junedsab Umachagi had visited our school a few days ago and gifted two books on Muhammad Paigambar, after which I organised a competition, thinking the cash prize may help the students. I have already apologised to the protesters and officials from the education department,” he said.