Karnataka school anti-CAA play: Headmistress, student’s mother held in sedition case

Karnataka school anti-CAA play, Karnataka school sedition case, Anti-CAA play Karnataka, Indian Express news

Prior to the arrests of the women, the police had questioned students from Class IV about the play, school officials have said.

The headmistress of a school at Bidar in Karnataka and the mother of a Class IV student have been arrested and sent to judicial custody in connection with a sedition case over the staging of an anti-CAA play.

Headmistress of Shaheen Primary School, Farida Begum, and Nazimunnisa, mother of a student at the school, were arrested on Thursday in connection with a complaint filed on January 26 by local activist Nilesh Rakshyal against the play staged during annual day celebrations on January 21, said Bidar SP T Sreedhara.

“The mother of the student added dialogues that were not part of the script for the play. The child uttered unconstitutional words about constitutional authorities like ‘chappal leke maro’. The headmistress as the head of the institution was responsible for the entire programme,’’ the police officer said. He said the women were produced in court on Thursday and remanded in judicial custody.

The activist has said in the complaint that he saw a video of the play on the social media in which students raised “anti-national sentiments” and children slapped pictures of PM Narendra Modi to depict opposition to the CAA.

“A video of the play which was enacted in the school was posted on social media with the intention of promoting enmity between communities. The director and management of the Shaheen School have committed an act that is anti-national in nature,’’ the complaint alleged.

The police have registered a complaint of sedition and breach of peace under Section 124 A and 504 of the IPC against the head of the school, the management of the school and Mohammed Yousuf Raheem, a local journalist on whose Facebook account the complainant viewed the video of the play. The police officer said investigation is on to find Raheem.

An official of Shaheen Group of Institutions said the police arrested the parent of a student after she told the media that she had adapted words into the play from videos of CAA protests she saw online.

Abdul Qadeer, the founder of Shaheen Group of Institutions which runs institutions all over India, has said the play staged by primary-level students should be viewed as a “satire on the present situation in the country”.

“We have been working in the area of education for nearly 50 years. More than 50 per cent of our students are non-Muslims. We are a reputed organisation and have never been accused of anything in the past,’’ said Touseef Sab, an official of Shaheen Group.

Prior to the arrests of the women, the police had questioned students from Class IV about the play, school officials have said.

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