• Sunday, September 24, 2023


Indian school shut after row over teacher’s instruction to slap Muslim student

The family of the young Muslim student claimed that he was subjected to physical abuse for making mistakes in his times tables

Muzaffarnagar [Uttar Pradesh], Aug 26 (ANI): Tripta Tyagi, Principal of Neha Public School speaks to the media on the viral video alleging UP teacher asking children to slap classmate, on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Authorities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have taken the step of closing a private school following an incident where a teacher instructed her students to slap a Muslim classmate.

Neha Public School in Khubbapur village was subjected to closure by officials who cited its failure to meet the criteria set by the education department, the BBC reported.

The students of the now-closed school will be transferred to either a government-operated school or nearby educational institutions, officials said.

The teacher in question, Tripta Tyagi, has expressed a lack of remorse for her actions.

The family of the young Muslim student claimed that he was subjected to physical abuse for making mistakes in his times tables.

The incident, which unfolded in a small private school within Muzaffarnagar district, was captured on video and quickly went viral on social media platforms.

In the video, Tyagi is heard instructing her students to slap the seven-year-old boy while he stands in tears. She goes on to guide the children in causing him more discomfort.

The video incited a wave of indignation across social media, leading numerous users to demand that appropriate measures be taken against the teacher involved.

The local police registered a case against Tyagi; however, she has not been arrested due to the charges being considered bailable offenses.

The victim’s father reported the incident to the police and subsequently withdrew his child from the school, although he chose not to press charges.

Education officer Shubham Shukla assured the public that the authorities were actively investigating the incident.

Additionally, Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the apex child rights body, has demanded action against the accused teacher.

In her defence, Tyagi has said the video has been tampered with in order to stoke tensions. She claimed that the video was shot by an uncle of the boy.

Tyagi said though it was wrong on her part to get a student slapped by his classmates, she was forced to do it as she is handicapped and was not able to stand up and reach the student who had not done his assignment.

Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) of Muzaffarnagar Shubham Shukla said a show cause notice has been served to the school management through the secretary of the management committee, Ravinder Tyagi.

It has been asked to furnish its response by August 28 as to why the school’s government recognition not be cancelled.

A criminal case will be registered against the authorities of the school where the incident took place, the BSA said, adding that a team has been sent there.

The matter snowballed into a fray between the BJP and the opposition parties, many of which alleged that it was the ruling party’s “politics of hate” that prepared the ground for such an incident to happen.

Prominent Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, in a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani and others, called for stringent legal action against the teacher.    “I urge you to address the aforementioned incident and initiate legal proceedings against the perpetrator under the Child Rights, Human Rights, Educational Rights, and Prevention of Bias Acts.

Furthermore, I request you to promptly instruct the concerned district administration to refrain from attempting to downplay this grave matter,” Jamiat chief Maulana Mahmood Madani said in his letter.

Such reprehensible actions not only contravene the core principles of education but also perpetuate bias and hatred that have no place in a just and inclusive society, he said.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi said on Twitter, “Indian Muslims are facing the same persecution & discrimination as Jews faced in the 1930s, will it lead to Kristallnacht? Hope not.”

He spoke to the boy’s father and said the family did not eat for two days.      Owaisi also said the video “is a product of the last 9 years”.  “The message being drilled into the minds of little children is that one can beat up and humiliate a Muslim without any repercussions.  “The father of the child has withdrawn his kid from school and given in writing that he doesn’t want to pursue the matter because he knows he won’t get justice and instead it might vitiate the ‘atmosphere’,” he said.

Circle Officer Ravi Shankar on Friday said prima facie it emerged that the student was beaten up for not completing the school work and there was nothing objectionable in it.  In a letter, the NCPCR asked the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate to provide relevant details about the school where the incident happened.

NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo also urged people on Twitter not to reveal the identity of the victim boy by sharing the video which showed him being slapped by his classmates.

(With inputs from PTI)

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