Bidar School Teacher, Parent Arrested for Staging Anti-CAA Play
The headmistress and a student’s mother in north Karnataka’s Bidar district have been arrested by the police on Thursday, 30 January, over charges of sedition and provoking breach of peace. They have been arrested for allegedly having students perform a play at the school’s annual function where they took a swipe at PM Modi with relation to the CAA and the NRC on 21 January.
The headmistress, Fareeda, and a student’s mother, Nagma, were taken to New Town Police Station and interrogated on Thursday. The cops reportedly conducted the investigation where there was no CCTV camera and did not allow anyone to enter the room. Some minor students were also questioned.
According to the FIR that was registered at the station on 26 January, the management has been booked under Sections 124A (sedition), 504 (provoking breach of peace), 505(2) (statements promoting enmity), 34 (act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 153A (promoting communal hatred) .
Bidar DSP confirmed the arrests and said due procedure was being followed. Both had been questioned at the school on Thursday afternoon for 2.5 hours.
The incident came to light after a video of the performance was uploaded by a Mohamad Yusuf Raheem, a journalist based in Bidar, who has also been named in the FIR. Confirming the FIR, Bidar SP said that the case is being investigated.
CEO of Shaheen Education Institute Thouseef Madikeri said police officers including the deputy superintendent, sub-inspector and others had been visiting the school located at Shapur Gate for the past three days and ‘mentally harassing the students and the staff’.
“Yesterday, they sealed the control room. Today, they have started interrogating the students of classes 4 and 5. It was staged by five-six students in which they took a jibe at PM Modi. Someone made a video and shared on social media. They are accusing us of spreading communal violence and hatred which will create disturbance in society,” he said, adding that school authorities are trying to get bail from a local court.
According to the FIR, the case has been filed by a Neelesh, a social worker in Bidar.
In the viral video, which has since been taken down, a student can be heard saying: “The government is telling Muslims to leave India and go... they are asking us to furnish documents of our parents and grandparents. If we can’t, they say we have to leave.”
At the end of the video, the student on the stage can be heard reciting the poem ‘Hum Kaagaz Nahi Dikhayenge’, that was made popular by writer Varun Grover during the CAA stir.
The complaint said that the school was trying to provoke communal disharmony by spreading fake news about CAA, NPR and added that it was “wrong to make school students say that PM Modi should be hit with slippers.”
Madikeri also said that the staff or management of the school had not told the students what to say, but that parents had helped the students stage the drama for the annual day function.
ABVP Members Stage Protest
Days after school authorities and a journalist were booked for the ‘seditious’ play, Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad members on Wednesday, 29 January staged a protest outside the Bidar district commissioner’s office at Ambedkar circle.
Bearing saffron flags, they chanted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.