Gujarat: Hindu students ‘made’ to offer namaz in school; probe ordered

Right-wing groups stage protest; school management apologises

Islam / Representative image | Reuters Representative image | Reuters

A private school in Ahmedabad allegedly asked students from Hindu religion to offer namaz on its premises as part of an awareness programme, sparking off protests from right-wing groups. The state government has ordered a probe against Kalorex Future School located in Ghatlodia area over the incident which allegedly took place on September 29.

The school management has tendered an apology and clarified that the intention of the programme was only to make students aware of the practices of different religions. It said no student was forced to perform the Islamic prayer.

A video of the programme, which had been shared on the school’s Facebook page and later removed, showed a few students of the primary section performing namaz, singing  'Lab pe aati hai dua', a prayer in the Islamic way. 

School principal Nirali Dagli said it was the tradition of the school to make students aware of different religions and religious practices ahead of festivals. 

"In view of Eid, we had organised this activity for the students of standard II to give them information about the festival. We carry out such activities ahead of festivals of all religions, including Samvatsari and Ganesh Chaturthi. No student was forced to perform namaz,” she was quoted as saying by PTI.

As the right-wing groups, including  Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Bajrang Dal, staged a demonstration on the school premises, the government ordered a probe into the incident. Videos of the protest showed a teacher being beaten up.

"We will conduct an investigation to find out the mentality and intention behind organising such a program and then appropriate action will be taken. We will not spare those who have done anything wrong," said Minister of State for Primary, Secondary and Adult Education Praful Pansheriya. 

He added that some people want to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the state.

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