Muzaffarnagar Village’s Muslim Students Scared After Viral Slapping Video
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Lucknow: Muzaffarnagar’s Khubbapur village, which was never in the headlines, was recently in the news after a teacher of Neha Public School named Tripta Tyagi humiliated a seven-year-old Muslim student in her class by asking his mates to slap him for being Muslim. A viral video shows Tyagi instructing other students to hit the Muslim boy and referring to his faith.
Muslims of Khubbapur, 30 km from Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district, are scared to send their children to schools run by Hindus.
Ayyub Tyagi, whose daughter Ayesha is enrolled in class 2 of the same school, told Newsclick that “the incident happened despite 90% of the students being Muslims. His parents are also deeply disturbed”.
“If this is the school’s state, Muslims wouldn’t send their children there. There are many other schools to choose from,” Tyagi, a farmer, added.
“If the teacher had hit the student, society would have understood. But instigating students to hit a fellow student based on religion is unacceptable,” he said.
Noman, a welding shop owner, recalled withdrawing his daughter Sumaiyya’s name from the school after his rude encounters with the teacher, who is the school’s co-owner, three years ago.
“She didn’t use any religious slurs but her way of talking was so demeaning and degrading that I had to take this step. Many parents have withdrawn their wards from the school in the last two years,” Noman told Newsclick.
Naushad, a truck driver in Qatar, had enrolled his son Shaheen in the school but withdrew his name after the school landed in the controversy.
Neha Public School is the only private school in Khubbapur village. Classes are being held temporarily at Tyagi’s residence due to ongoing construction.
“It was not the first such incident. Many parents have withdrawn their children because of religious discrimination by the school staff,” Irshad, the father of the boy slapped by his classmates, alleged.
“My son is in depression because of the incident. The school can never erase the painful memory from his mind no matter what compensation they offer,” he said adding that the family is “under pressure to compromise”.
The school, which offers classes from lower kindergarten to class five, has been shut temporarily. Of the total strength of 60, at least, 40 students are Muslims.
Basic education officer Shubham Shukla told Newsclick that the school’s recognition had expired in 2019 and it had not applied for renewal. “We have issued a notice to the school after the video surfaced and plan to seal it.”
Another villager, Iftikhar Tyagi, told Newsclick that had BKU chief Naresh Tikait not visited Khubbapur, met the student’s family and brokered peace, things could have been worse for Muslims. Tikait also said that the FIR filed against the teacher will be withdrawn.
“Muslims in Muzaffarnagar were scared to see a repeat of the 2013 riots. Leaders from the Rashtriya Lok Dal and Bhim Army also extended their support to the father,” Iftikhar said adding that “Bajrang Dal workers have increased their presence across the city after the video surfaced, triggering tension”.
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