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New Delhi: NCPCR issues notice in conversion attempt at ‘Jai Mata Di’ coaching center, accused Rizwan, Absar, and Irfan named centre to exploit ‘Jai Mata Di’ name

In his complaint, Manoj said that his 13-year-old son had been asking him what the Quran is, and now and then read Kalma.

A case of attempted religious conversion by teachers of a private coaching centre recently came to light from the Shakurpur area in the North-West district of New Delhi. On Thursday (4th July), the aggrieved students’ father, Manoj Kumar Saroj, hailing from the Dalit community, filed a complaint against teachers of the ‘Jai Mata Di’ coaching center, Rizwan, Absar, and Irfan, for forcing his sons to read the Quran.

Subsequently, on 7th July, based on the father’s complaint, the Subhash Place police registered an FIR (number: 492/2024) under sections 299 and 302 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS). 

(Details of the case, Image Source – Organiser)

Additionally, on 8th July, the NCPCR also issued a notice to the District Magistrate (number: DD27362) and demanded an investigation report into the matter within three days. 

(Copy of NCPCR notice, Image Credit – Organiser)

In his complaint, Manoj said that his 13-year-old son had been asking him what the Quran is, and now and then read Kalma. When Manoj inquired about it, his son said that the teachers at the coaching center, Rizwan, Absar, and Irfan, were forcing him to read the Quran. He added that they were pressurising his sons to recite Kalma repeatedly and told him that Hindu Religion was nonsense. Manoj stated that when he confronted Rizwan sir, he used abusive language and threatened to ‘see him’ and said, “I am father of Dawood Ibrahim. I will see you and your family”. 

At the coaching center, the coaching staff stopped Manoj from recording the confrontation but he managed to capture some footage. When Manoj showed the video to his elder son, he immediately identified Rizwan as the man standing beside Manoj in the recording. However, Manoj expressed disbelief that Rizwan was standing next to him and nobody at the center had pointed him out. 

After the incident was reported in the media, a local news reporter shared pictures of the coaching institute with the Organiser. In the banner, the name on the coaching centre read, “JMD – ‘Join Mentors of Discipline’,” different from the ‘Jai Mata Di’ name the students’ father had mentioned. 

(Banner of the said JMD coaching centre, Image Credit – Organiser)

The journalist told the Organiser that there was indeed a coaching center named ‘Jai Mata Di,’ established about 30 years ago. The new JMD was an offshoot of the old, well-known coaching center. 

Additionally, the banner of the JMD coaching center had pictures of Maa Saraswati in the corners. It also had the names and mobile numbers of five teachers namely Ibrar, Rizwan, Ajay, Vikram, and Irfan. 

Seeing the banner, Manoj admitted that he hadn’t read the board carefully when he enrolled his sons, though he remembered seeing ‘Jai Mata Di’ written on it. Manoj stated that to utilise the summer vacation of his two sons, he had enrolled them as the locals had highly recommended a nearby coaching center known as JMD (Jai Mata Di). 

(Image of accused teacher Mohd Rizwan posted on Facebook, Credit – Organiser)

This must have happened with other children as well: The students’ father

Speaking with Oragniser’s correspondent Subhi Vishwakarma, the students’ father, Manoj said, “This coaching center is very popular in the region, which is why I sent my kids there. Had my son not been curious about what the teachers were telling students, I would have never known what was going on. How often do we ask our children what their teachers say?” 

He further added, “This must have happened with other children as well. But they did not speak with their parents, or even if they did, their parents simply ignored it. All of us living here have come from different places just to make a living. Maybe they feared investing their time in this matter, preferring to invest it into other work to make some money.”

Manoj further stated that he is a devout Hindu and never expected something like this to happen. “I have no issues with people following their religion, but I am firm in my own beliefs. I also know the plight of Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he noted.  

According to Manoj, the teachers may have targeted his children, knowing that they would soon return to Jaunpur which would avoid immediate repercussions for them. 

Manoj said, “My elder son is very curious and loves to delve deeper into subjects he encounters. If he had taken these ideas back to Jaunpur, he might have been influenced in a different direction.” 

Regarding the claims made by one of the teachers of the coaching center that this was an ego fight between him and Rizwan or a dispute over fees, Manoj said, “They are all making this up. I have a video of them saying that they don’t need any fees from me after this matter came to light. I insisted and paid extra for the week my children had attended the center.” 

Manoj also mentioned that the coaching center objected to students when they took leave for Hindu festivals. His neighbours confirmed that the coaching center punished students for skipping classes on the day of the Ram Mandir Pranpratishtha. Contrarily, they easily allowed students to take leave on Islamic festivals.

Similar cases of indoctrination or attempted religious conversion at educational institutions

However, this was not the first time when Muslim teachers were accused of trying to brainwash children under the guise of education.

In June last year, a case surfaced from Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh where an 11-year-old Hindu boy enrolled in a private school named Ganga Jamna was reciting Surah-al-Fatiha, and observed Islamic practices. The school had included separate greetings in Urdu in their diary, meaning a separate prayer to be offered before and after lunch. Additionally, the female students were asked to wear the Hijab which the school authorities referred to as Ahram. It also granted half days on Fridays and special vacations during Ramzan.

It all started after a poster of Hindu and Jain girls wearing hijabs started circulating on social media. The NCPCR registered a case against the perpetrators and the school was shut down. All the students enrolled there were relocated to different government and private schools.

In September 2023, Hindu students enrolled in a private school were seen wearing hijabs, singing Islamic songs, and reciting Islamic teachings. The incident took place at Prince Public School located in the Cantt area of Guna.

In October 2023, a lady teacher from a missionary school in Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) was suspended for allegedly pressurising a Class 10 student to engage in physical relations. The student’s father has accused the teacher of attempting to influence his son’s religious beliefs, aiming to convert him from Hinduism to Christianity. 

In June 2023, Ghaziabad Police revealed shocking details in the matter where a minor Jain boy was lured by Islamists to follow practices of Islam including offering Namaz five times a day. As per reports, the victim’s father filed a complaint at Kavinagar Police Station in which he said that his minor son was lured into practicing Islam by Islamists online. At least 3 Hindu boys and 1 Jain boy were identified as victims, brainwashed through a game called Fortnite.

In September 2023, a complaint was filed in Telangana against Methodist Rural High School (MRHS) for allegedly converting underage Hindu students.

In June 2023 a similar case was reported from Gujarat, an alleged telephone conversation between teachers from Yellow Education System and a parent went viral on social media where the parent accused the Muslim teachers of the school of brainwashing the children to ignore lessons on Hindu kings and study only Muslim rulers. 

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