Bhopal: In a new twist to the hijab row in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, the management of the school -- where the controversy erupted over a poster of topper students (girls) wearing head scarves --, has been accused of having terror links.
The controversy broke out at a private English medium school 'Ganga Jamuna' in Damoh district when a poster of topper students, including Hindu girls, wearing hijab emerged.
Amid allegations of 'religious conversion' and 'terror funding', Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter. MP BJP head V. D. Sharma, who has levelled serious allegations against the school management and pushing for an inquiry, said DGP Sudhir Saxena and Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains will supervise the high-level inquiry ordered by Chief Minister Chouhan.
Meanwhile, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said investigation in the matter was at primary stage and the names of accused involved in alleged 'religious conversation' will be revealed soon. When asked about the alleged terror funding link, Mishra said the central agency will conduct an inquiry. "Central agency NIA will investigate the terror funding link issue. As of now, NIA has not approached MP police for the same. If MP police asks for assistance, there will be full cooperation," Mishra said while briefing the press on Thursday.
Mishra also said that staff members of Ganga Jamuna school will be interrogated to identify the particular person who forced students for alleged 'religious conversion'. "As the investigation proceeds, the name of the particular accused involved in the case would be revealed. An FIR against the school management was lodged on Wednesday and accordingly a case has been registered under Section 289 A, 506 B of IPC along with Juvenile Justice Act," he added.
Damoh district SP Rakesh Singh has said the issue has become very sensitive and further action would be taken on the basis of statements of women (students) who were allegedly forced to convert their religion.
While briefing the press on Wednesday, SP Singh mentioned that regular instructions were received from the state government and following which an inquiry was conducted and the case has been registered on the basis of statements of two - three women. "Regular directions were being issued from the state government, following which an investigation was carried out. Cognizance was taken on the basis of statements of two women and the FIR was lodged," Rakesh Singh stated.
State government had ordered the derecognition of the registration of Ganga Jamuna school within 24 hours when the controversy broke out last week.
The order issued by Damoh district education department, however, has not mentioned the alleged hijab controversy, instead it claimed the action was taken as the school management did not comply with the norms properly. For instance, lack of separate washrooms for girl students and benches for the students etc.
The row erupted after a poster of topper students of Ganga Jamna school in Damoh recently went viral on social media where all girl students including Hindus and Jains were seen wearing a headscarf.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Priyank Kanoongo, in a tweet on Wednesday, said that sections of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, tampering with the map of the nation and violation of constitutional provisions have been added in the FIR against the school management.
In another related incident, a group of BJP workers threw ink at the Damoh district education officer S.K. Mishra in his office premises while he was leaving in his car. A video of the incident also surfaced in which some people were seen stopping the car and throwing ink at him.
What action plan the state government has prepared for the future of students enrolled with Damoh-based Ganga Jamuna School is yet to be seen as it has been deregistered.
Despite repeated attempts by IANS, the school management refused to comment on this issue.