Kota: 3 Muslim Teachers Suspended; Staff, Students Refute 'Conversion' Charges

"Love Jihad allegations are all false, our teachers have not done anything wrong. Bring them back," say students.

6 min read
Hindi Female

In the span of eight years that Mujahid Mirza, 42, has been a teacher at the school, he had never thought he would be suspended in such an arbitrary manner.

Mirza is a Physical Education teacher at the government senior secondary in Khajuri village, Sangod, district Kota in Rajasthan. On 22 February, after returning from hospital, he found out that he has been suspended over charges of 'forceful conversion' and 'love jihad.'

"I was admitted to hospital due to food poisoning and being ill. When I came back, I got a call from a friend who is also a teacher who told me about the suspension order. I was shocked. I did not receive the order personally, I got it on a WhatsApp group," he told The Quint.

This come as a shock to not just Mirza, but also Firoz Khan and Shabana, who have also been suspended abruptly, while the remaining teachers and students have rubbished the allegations and come out in their support.

"Love Jihad allegations are all false, our teachers have not done anything wrong. Bring them back," say students.

The government school is around 75 kms away from Kota. 

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

An unrelated case of a young Hindu girl, Muskan and a Muslim boy, Lucky Ali created a furor in the village and this controversy has now engulfed these teachers too.


Here's what we know: As the locals stated, Muskan and Ali reportedly married a month ago. Muskan's parents objected and while verifying Muskan's details, they traced back to the school to confirm her details. It was Muskan's parents, joined in by right-wing members of Bajrang Dal and VHP, who, on the basis of a discrepancy in registry, levelled the allegations against Mirza, Firoz and Shabana.

In one of her admission forms, Muskan who studied in the school from 2019-2022, her religion was written as 'Islam.' Then, she independently verified that it was a mistake.

"Love Jihad allegations are all false, our teachers have not done anything wrong. Bring them back," say students.

Copy of the verification by Muskan stating that it was a mistake in the form.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

This was corroborated by the teachers we have spoken to that it was a mere error on one form which was rectified while all the other school documents state the same.

"Even though the police verified and looked into all of the necessary information, still they have made such false allegations against us. The case is completely different and unrelated. I never thought they would do such a thing."
Mirza Mujahid to The Quint

The Quint also has a copy of the original form of the former student.

Mujahid's brother, Muttalib Mirza told The Quint, "They have exploited that one error and alleged that she was made to change her religion back in 2019 in the school. The right-wing members said that because it was Congress' government then, this did not come out and now that the government has changed, they have shed light on it."

From a 'Village Issue' to a 'School Issue'

A teacher since 32 years, Firoz has been a part of the school since the past 5 years. He teaches Hindi, Maths and English from class 1 to 5. Firoz had never met or known Muskan.

"We are innocent, we have even told them to properly look into it, investigate us if they find something is wrong. The issue has only been investigated keeping in mind one community," Firoz told The Quint.

There are around 200 students in that school, out of which approximately 60-70 students are Muslims.

Firoz stated that the issue is borne out of a personal matter which started as a village issue and had nothing to do with the school.

Speaking in their support, the remaining 12 teachers in their statement to the authorities have echoed similar statements.

  • No instance or parting of Love Jihad or conversion tactics.

  • These three teachers did not do anything wrong/had nothing to do with it.

  • Letter by the non-Muslim teachers against the allegations.

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • Letter by Firoz.

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

These letters also included the ones written by Firoz and Shabana themselves.

In her letter, Shabana wrote, "Neither have I participated in any religious activity in school nor have I taught anything religious."

The Quint also received a copy of the suspension letter. The notice not only suspends the three teachers but also orders them to report to the education department office in Bikaner.

"Love Jihad allegations are all false, our teachers have not done anything wrong. Bring them back," say students.

The suspension letter.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)


"The Principal has also stated that he is only following the orders from the education board and there’s nothing he can do," said Firoz.

In another letter by the Principal of the school, Kamlesh Kumar Berwa, he explicitly stated, "The mix up of the religion was by mistake on the form, it was signed by her father too. In the school records, correct religion and caste have been registered. No namaz is being offered in the school either."

"Love Jihad allegations are all false, our teachers have not done anything wrong. Bring them back," say students.

Letter by the school Principal.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

'Bring Them Back': Students, Staff Show Support

With slogans like "'Bring our teachers back," and "Ek, do, teen, karo ye atyachar," many students marched around 20 kms to the SDM office to submit their appeal with regards to the issue.

"These are all false allegations. The girl wanted to get married or change her religion on her own, she gave a statement too, our teachers have not done anything," stated Akshita Meena a Class 9 student.

In a video accessed by The Quint, earlier on 25 February, the students were seen crying and arguing with the school administration, stating the allegations are not only false but also several students were forced by right-wing members to give false statements.

"Love Jihad allegations are all false, our teachers have not done anything wrong. Bring them back," say students.

Students march to the SDM office on 26 February.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

The students stated repeatedly that they have come to the office under "their own free will" to demand the teachers' suspension to be revoked.

"All Hindu and Muslim children sit together, eat and play together in school. Nothing wrong happens in our school. These accusations of 'love jihad and 'conversion' against our teachers are all false."
Shanu Varma, class 7 student

The SDM office in response to them told them that there is a due process and it will be further investigated.

"Love Jihad allegations are all false, our teachers have not done anything wrong. Bring them back," say students.

Letter submitted by the students in SDM office, asking to take action against Muskan's family and right-wing members who have fueled this issue.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Another teacher, Surendra Kumar who teaches Science from class 6 to 10, stated that no such incident has ever taken place in the school.

"It was a village issue that has been brought into school. There was just a small error in a press form, but there was nothing wrong in the registration. Correct details were uploaded and it was all verified too," he said.

Meanwhile, Muttalib noted, "They have specifically targeted the only three Muslims. Twelve Hindu teachers and three Muslim teachers. How is it even possible for them to do something like this and why would they do it?"

Gajanand Gaur, one of the locals was part of the right-wing members gathering to protest against the teachers. he told The Quint that "he does not have knowledge of the case and had joined them because it was a matter of Hindu girl and Hindu samaj."

The Chief Block Education Officer (CBEO) Ramavtar Rawal told The Quint that the suspension was solely done on the basis of the memorandum they received from their department.


"Some students and teachers are speaking against the allegations, we are not denying that. They will also not stay quiet. We had tried talking and calming down the children but we couldn't. Now, the school is functioning normally," he told The Quint.

Rawal has claimed that since one of the three teachers was in Elementary and the other two were in Secondary, they have been sent separate notices from the district headquarters as these are two different departments in the system.

However, the teachers have questioned as to why there are being told to report to the Bikaner office.

"All the people have asked and they have said it doesn’t add up that we are being told to go to Bikaner. If at all, we would report to the Kota district office. Shabana is scared and has already gone to Bikaner," noted Mirza.

(The Quint also reached out to Shabana, Lucky Ali, Muskan and the chief district education officer in Kota, Charu Mitra. Their response will be added if received).

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Topics:  Rajasthan BJP   Love Jihad   Kota 

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