A video of a child reciting the azan (Islamic prayer) in what appears to be a school assembly is doing the rounds on social media.
Users are sharing the video with a claim that it shows a school in a village in Jharkhand, where the majority population is Muslim, because of which students are mandated to recite the Muslim call to prayer each morning.
However, the claim is false. We found that the video is from the Hemlai Gyan Bikash primary school in Marioni village in Jorhat, Assam, where the student in the video recited the azan. As per the teachers, the student did this out of his own free will and they weren't aware of what he was going to perform.
The video is being shared with a claim in English, that reads –
“In a village in Jharkhand where 75 percent are Muslims, it is mandatory that Hindu children also pray Islamic prayers. What is happening? (sic)”
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Using InVID, a video verification tool, we divided the viral video into multiple keyframes and ran reverse images searches on some of them.
The results led us to a tweet by one Twitter user, which mentioned that the video was from a primary school in Jorhat, Assam. In a thread, the user added that a show cause notice had been issued to the school after the incident drew attention.
Taking a cue from this, we looked for news reports with the words 'Jorhat School Azan' in Assamese, and came across a report by News18, which mentioned that the incident took place in a village called Marioni in Jorhat district.
It added that after the incident, the District Commissioner visited the school and said that the student "was not incited" to recite the call to prayer, and nor was it "premeditated."
However, a show cause notice was issued to the head teacher, Pranab Anandhara by the District's Primary Education Officer Shubhalakshmi Rajkumari, regarding the incident.
The recitation came during 'Gunotsav', an exercise where senior bureaucrats and state government officials gauge schools' quality by conducting on-ground checks, reported Times of India.
Speaking to TOI, Jorhat District Education Officer Subhalakshmi Rajkumari said that Anandhara had verbally admitted to the incident's occurrence, and had to respond to the administration as to why action should not be taken against him for violating rules under the Assam Services (Disciplinary & Appeal) Rules.
Anandhara, on the other hand, said he was innocent and that the incident was not "pre-planned."
The daily also added that the administration is probing whether azan is performed regularly in the school.
Clearly, the video is not from Jharkhand. The incident happened in Marioni village in Assam, where a student voluntarily recited the azan during an event at the Hemlai Gyan Bikash primary school.
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