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Crime-Justice

Hijab row in MP: CM Chouhan orders high-level inquiry

IANS | June 08, 2023 10:12 AM

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered a high-level inquiry into a recent hijab controversy, involving a private school in Damoh district.

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 head scarf.

On Wednesday, an FIR has been registered against the management of the school under Sections 295, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and also under the Juvenile Justice Act.

The development came hours after state Home Minister Narottam Mishra ordered the Damoh district police to take prompt action in the matter and investigate the issue from all angles. The school management was accused of alleged religious conversion.

Damoh SP Rakesh Singh said on Wednesday that the FIR has been lodged on the basis of the statements of two women, who (according to the official) have spoken against the school management. "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.

He added that the matter is very sensitive and further investigation is underway. The women, whose statements were recorded, have levelled serious allegations against the school management, he added. "Following the statements of the women, a committee was tasked to conduct a detailed inquiry in the matter, " Singh added.

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.

The NCPCR Chairperson added that instructions have been given to the district administration to take action to suspend the recognition of the school permanently.

Ever since the controversy broke out, the ruling BJP has been accusing the school management of being "involved in religious conversion". Chief Minister Chouhan and state BJP president V. D. Sharma have been claiming that the authorities at the Ganga Jamna School were running a nexus of "Love Jihad" and converting Hindu girls to Islam.

It is said that the school management was also forcing
On Tuesday, School Education Minister Inder Singh Parmar accused the Damoh district collector of giving a clean chit to the school management and demanded the hijab case should be investigated properly. "District Education Officer (DEO) gave wrong information about the school. He should have conducted regular inspections of the school. When the incident came to light, the DEO gave a clean chit to the school in his report. We are taking action against the DEO, " Parmar had said on Tuesday.

The district education department has already derecognised the registration of Ganga Jamna school. However, the issue of the hijab wasn't mentioned in its notification, IANS had reported a couple of days back.

Following the allegations of the School Education Minister, Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that he would speak to him and action would be taken in the matter. "There were suspicious type of people who threw ink. They are locals. They were speaking about the Ganga Jamna School issue" (the hijab controversy where purported posters of girls wearing the hijab came to light).

On Tuesday, some people threw ink on the face of 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.

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