2 teachers in Saharanpur suspended after provocative rant at Shaheenbagh

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Two teachers from Saharanpur who had gone to protest at Shaheen Bagh on January 19 against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had been suspended by the school authorities for one week, reported Patrika. They were served a notice and asked to provide an explanation for their actions.

The incident occurred on February 10.

While speaking to the media, Nahida Zaidi, the teacher from Asha Modern School, said, “We have reached here (Shaheen Bagh) from Saharanpur to show that Muslims are united. We have tolerated injustice. We have seen what has happened in Kashmir. We saw Triple Talaq, (the anti-Triple Talaq law by Modi government) We (Muslims) are united because Ayodhya has been illegally taken (by the Hindus) and now the CAA.” Nahida had been accused of provoking religious sentiments too.

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She added, “Narendra Modi and Amit Shah cannot scare us because we (Muslims) are not weak.” She claimed that she is the only Muslim teacher at the Asha Modern School. She alleged that the other teachers (Hindus) speak ill of Muslims and consider all of them as “terrorists.”

In a laud rant, the teacher was seen exclaiming, “This land belongs to us, this sky belongs to us. How can you alienate us by bringing in NRC? Muslims have brought independence in this country. RSS was sold out. Now Modi and Amit Shah are enjoying benefits of independence and harassing us.”

Another teacher who teaches at the Rainbow school in Saharanpur said, “We are not beggars that we will come here (to protest) for money.”

It is notable here that many Islamists and groups with vested interests have been spreading the deliberate misinformation over the CAA and NRC, falsely claiming that it is directed against Muslims of India. The CAA has nothing to do with existing Indian citizens and the NRC, a proposed project to identify illegal immigrants in India, is yet to be even initiated.

Read: Indian Muslims do not stand to suffer due to the CAA-NRC combo: Here are the laws and guidelines explained

After the videos of the teachers went viral, many organisations and Hindu groups in Saharanpur had protested. The school administrations had taken cognisance and had issued notices to two teachers. They have reportedly been suspended for a week.

Following the outrage, Nahida had apologised for her outrageous remarks in the viral video. She claimed, “Several people were going to Shaheen Bagh. Since that day was a holiday, I too went there to see what was happening. I was asked questions that were bizarre in nature. The good part of my media interaction was edited out and only the wrong remarks were put on focus. This is a conspiracy against me.”

She said, “The video is a month old. I went to Shaheen Bagh on January 19. I have no affiliations to any political party. I am sorry for my mistake.”

Contradicting Nahida’s claims, the principal of Asha Modern school, Divya Jain, said that she was not the only Muslim teacher in the school. She also refuted the allegations of anti-Muslim remarks by the teachers of the school and stated that the concerned teacher had never raised any such issue before her. The school management has also stated that teachers have been advised not to indulge in political activism and indisciplined behaviour.

The police are now investigating the video. ACP Vineet Bhatnagar said that action would be taken against any group trying to pressurise the school authorities into taking stringent measures against the accused teachers.

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