The Hindu (Mumbai)

Action against Kota govt. school teachers over ‘conversion’ sparks row

Two teachers suspended, disciplina­ry proceeding­s against another in haste, say teachers’ groups; State Education Minister ordered action following memo submitted by right-wing group


The suspension of two government school teachers and disciplina­ry action against another on charges of involvemen­t in religious conversion at the behest of Education Minister Madan Dilawar has sparked a controvers­y in Rajasthan’s Kota district.

Teachers’ representa­tive bodies on Saturday said the action has been taken arbitraril­y before the conclusion of an inquiry.

On February 20, Sarva Hindu Samaj, a local rightwing organisati­on, submitted a memorandum to Mr. Dilawar during a public hearing programme in Kota accusing the teachers at Government Senior Secondary School in Khajuri Odpur village of Sangod block of forcing students to convert and having links with banned terror outfits.

Following the Ministers’s directions, the Chief District Education Officer on Thursday issued suspension orders to Firoze Khan and Mirza Mujahid and initiated disciplina­ry proceeding­s against Shabana.

All three teachers have been ordered to report at the Directorat­e of Education, Bikaner, during the period of their suspension and disciplina­ry proceeding­s.

In a video message, Mr. Dilawar had said the issue of religious conversion and Hindu girls being forced to offer namaz (Islamic prayer) had been brought to his notice.

‘Dens of conversion’

He added that he would not allow government schools to become “dens of conversion” and may even dismiss the teachers from service upon further investigat­ion.

The teachers’ groups raised concern about the action taken in haste in the matter, with Urdu Shikshak Sangh president Amin Kayamkhani saying the suspension order was passed in an arbitrary manner before the conclusion of a department­al inquiry.

Rajasthan Muslim Forum general secretary Mohammed Nazimuddin said the State government took the action to cause polarisati­on in the society in the runup to the Lok Sabha election.

Kidnapping claim

The Sarva Hindu Samaj had also claimed that a Hindu girl, registered as a Muslim in the school’s records in 2019, was kidnapped by some Muslim students earlier this year and was still untraceabl­e.

A case had been registered in this connection at the Sangod police station but no action was taken, the group claimed, adding that the students were being coerced into observing Islamic rituals at the government school.

 ?? SPECIAL ARRANGEMEN­T ?? Rajasthan Minister Madan Dilawar said the issue of religious conversion had been brought to his notice.
SPECIAL ARRANGEMEN­T Rajasthan Minister Madan Dilawar said the issue of religious conversion had been brought to his notice.

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