The headmaster of a government-run school in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, was suspended after the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) complained that he was making the students recite Urdu prayers.
Furkan Ali, the headmaster of Bisalpur Primary School, has contested his suspension, saying that students also recite "saraswati vandana" and "shakti humein dena data" (Hindu prayer songs).
"The principal of Bisalpur's Gyaspur school has been suspended by the Basic Education Officer as he has admitted that the prayer was being sung on the request of students of a particular community, which is not allowed in any government-run school. The administration is not against the prayer, but against action by the principal that it was sung on a request by a particular community," District Magistrate Vaibhav Srivastava said.
"The administration respects Allama Iqbal and his creations. It must be clear that government schools and institutions don't run on the basis of majority or minority, they work as per the Constitution and the rules laid down by the government," he added.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Devendra Swarup said that Block Education Officer Upendra Kumar has been asked to conduct an inquiry and submit his report in a week's time. "Further action will be taken on the result of the report," the BSA added.
The headmaster termed his suspension unjustified and alleged that some people are trying to give a communal colour to the matter.
He said the prayers were being conducted in the school since a long time and they included "saraswati vandana", besides the Urdu prayer.
Nobody has raised an objection over it but the VHP is politicising the issue, he alleged. Mr Ali said the truth will come out in the probe, if it is fair.
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