14 Jun 2023

Madhya Pradesh: Bulldozer Reached Damoh's Ganga Jamna School Embroiled In Hijab Row; Locals Oppose

Damoh: Recently, the Ganga Jamna Secondary School in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh was embroiled in a controversy after it published pictures of its 10th class non-Muslim girl students in hijabs on a poster.

After the incident came to light, the school's principal Afsha Sheikh, maths teacher Anas Athar and security guard Rustam Ali were arrested for forcing the girl students to wear hijab.

On Tuesday the Municipal Authority of Damoh removed the alleged encroachment from the first floor of a new building being constructed in the school premises.

Local people, kin of students opposed 

The people of the administration who came to remove the alleged encroachment also faced opposition from the local people and the relatives of the students of this school.

The affiliation of this school was also canceled this month. Mubarika Begum, a relative of a student, said, “They are playing with her future. Our children have been studying here for 12 years."

Afsha's husband, Sheikh Iqbal, wept outside the court in Damoh and told the media, "Politics has ruined my family."

Afsha is currently in judicial custody and her husband Iqbal is trying to get her bail.

Established in the year 2010 under the Ganga Jamnna Welfare Society, this school is the only English medium school in Futera Ward and most of its students come from working class families.

CMO had given notice to school

On Sunday, the Chief Municipal Officer (CMO) had given notice of illegal construction to the school authority and asked it to present the relevant documents within three days. After this, on Tuesday, the administration team reached the school with a bulldozer.

CMO BL Singh said that 'we are removing illegal constructions from the first floor of the new building being constructed next to the main building. The local people thought that we had come to demolish the school. They opposed us, so we came back with the police force.

Crisis before students 

After the cancellation of the recognition of the school, a crisis has arisen on the future of the students. The studies of the new batch of students were going to start from 15th June.

During removal of students many students said they would study only in Ganga Jamna School.

On June 2, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while referring to Urdu poet-philosopher Iqbal, alleged that the school administration was "teaching poetry of a man who talked about the division of the country" and warned that "such acts won't be allowed in Madhya Pradesh”.

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