Madhya Pradesh: FIR Against Damoh School Authorities Over Headscarf Row

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Police have said that the school management has been booked under Sections 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, and also under the Juvenile Justice Act.

An FIR has been registered against the management of Ganga Jamuna School in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district where a controversy had erupted over allegations that female students were being forced to wear headscarf.

Police have said that the school management has been booked under Sections 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, and also under the Juvenile Justice Act. Damoh SP Rakesh Singh said the FIR was lodged on the basis of the statements of two students who have made allegations against the school management.

“No arrests have been made. We are recording the statements of the two complainants following which further course of action will be taken,” Singh said.

On Wednesday, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke about the issue, saying that no female student will be forced to wear a hijab in Madhya Pradesh. “We will investigate this case thoroughly and let me assure you that nobody will force our students, daughters to wear something, whether it is a hijab or something else,” the CM had said.

Earlier, it was alleged that a poster showed girl students of the school, including those from Hindu families, wearing headscarves that looked like hijab. At the time, the local district officials, including the District Collector, had stated that “there were allegations of religious conversion but it was not found to be true”.

State Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who ordered the probe, has told reporters that “no complaint was received in this regard. In view of the seriousness of the issue, the superintendent of police has been instructed to thoroughly investigate it”.

On May 31, Mishra ordered a probe into the incident even though the local district officials and the police said that no complaint was received.

On June 2, the Education Department derecognised the school, citing inadequate infrastructure – “no proper library” and “no proper practical material”, among other reasons.

Source: Indian Express