The principal of a private school was arrested in Prayagraj on Wednesday for offending religious feelings after allegedly ordering students to post 20-second videos wearing “Eid attire” as part of a school activity. The school administration, meanwhile, defended the headmaster, Bushra Mustafa (47), and said such activities are also held on other Hindu festivals like Diwali, Dussehra, Holy Day. independence and republic day.
She was arrested after a complaint was lodged by a certain Lalmani Tiwari, Area Manager of Gau Raksha Vibhag of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, at Keedganj Police Station. Mustafa was sentenced under IPC Article 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting their religion or beliefs religious) and under article 67 of the computer law.
Mustafa is the principal of the CBSE-affiliated Nyaya Nagar Public School located in Havelia area under Jhunsi Police Station. The school has more than 1,200 students.
Prayagraj SSP Ajay Kumar said, “We are registering the headmistress’ statement to determine whether she intended to hurt or incite anyone’s religious feelings or not. She said she did it to maintain equality so that students of all faiths know each other’s religions. The FIR was filed on Wednesday and further investigation is ongoing.
Tewaris’ complaint reads: “This is to inform you that a message has been sent to students at Nyay Nagar Public School. The message read: “Students must make a short 20 second video dressed in salwar kurta with Eid (boys) cap, salwar kurta with dupatta (girls) saying Happy Eid”. After the post trended, there was anger among those who read this post and belonged to other religions. My religious feelings were hurt… The headmistress of the school Bushra Mustafa is a community-minded Muslim woman and she abused her position.
“She did this as part of a plot to hurt religious feelings and ruin the atmosphere of schools and colleges… It was done like the hijab row in Karnataka to ruin community harmony. On May 3, alongside Eid, two major Hindu festivals – Akshay Tritiya and Lord Parshuram Jayanti – were also celebrated. But the principal has not given any activity or program that shows her intention,” the complaint added.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Thursday, Nyaya Nagar Public School Secretary, Suchitra Verma, said the complaint was made “as part of a conspiracy by some people who work in a nearby school who are jealous of the excellent work done by the principal and which has yielded excellent results for the school.
“The principal is a secular person… The incident has been exaggerated. There’s another school in the neighborhood that does these things. I think there are people who created a problem out of thin air to bring down the director because her record is great,” Verma said.
“At school, we celebrate holidays of all religions to give students the opportunity to learn more about them. She organized the Eid activity for the pupils of the nursery and preparatory classes. She had requested photos of students in fancy dress for Eid and the photos were reportedly posted on the school’s website. She did not ask any student to offer namaz or follow any religious practice. We do similar activities for Diwali and Dussehra where students dress up as Lord Ram and Hanuman and other Hindu gods and goddesses,” Verma added.