In Pilibhit town of Uttar Pradesh, a case of forcible imposition of Islamic prayer on Hindu children has come to fore. The principal of Ghyaspur Primary School II, Furkan Ali is accused of foisting Islamic prayer on the children studying in the school.
A few days ago, a video of school children reciting Islamic prayer had gone viral. Following this, workers of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal registered their protest to the District SDM. Taking cognizance of the complaint of Hindu organizations, the principal was suspended. Now the SDM has entrusted the investigation of the entire matter to the Block Education Officer Upendra Vishwakarma.
However, according to Furkan Ali, all the allegations against him are baseless. He claimed that Saraswati Vandana continues to be recited in the school, but because 90 percent of the children in the school are Muslims, recital of Islamic prayer was started based on students’ insistence.
The suspended principal Furkan Ali said in his defence that along with Saraswati Vandana, Islamic prayer is also being chanted. “The school has children from both Hindu and Muslim communities. That is why I have been doing this prayer since 2011. This prayer has also appeared in the book of the council school. Unilateral action has been initiated against me without listening to my defence,” he said.
It is notable that the statements made by Furkan Ali put the role of the officers of the department under the scanner. Questions are arising as to when officials used to inspect the school all these years, why this matter did not come to light earlier.
Earlier in 2011, some children had lodged a complaint with their parents on the inclusion of madarsa prayers in the school. However, when the parents conveyed their strong objection about it to the school authorities, their complaint was ignored. Apart from this, the most surprising thing in the whole case is that the office of Block Education Officer is right next to the school and yet he knew nothing about prayers taught in madarsa were being imposed on the government school children.
With the video now going viral on social media, the local authorities seem to suppress the case. According to the information received, just 10 days ago Hindu Vahini activists reached the District SDM about the case and informed them about the whole episode. Now, based on this complaint, Furkan Ali has been suspended.