Head scarf row: Muslim girl's father moves court

Three days after the principal was suspended, Nazir Musliar filed a petition yesterday in the Judicial Magistrate court at Ambalappuzha near here, stating that the action of principal Mary Jazinta of Gurupuram Believers' Church school amounted to "hurting religious sentiments and harming communal harmony".

Nazir, an Imam of a local mosque, had earlier complained that his daughter Nabala was given "compulsory TC" by the school authorities after she was promoted to class X this year.

The authorities of the school, managed by evangelical Christian congregation Believers' Church, had maintained that the TC was given on her parents' request and it was not their policy to infringe on religious rights of students.

As the issue snowballed into a controversy, the government conducted a probe and ordered the school to take back the girl, which it did, besides suspending the principal.
However, the girl's parents did not want their daughter to continue in the same school and insisted that the government initiate legal action against the principal, arguing the issue involved fundamental rights and religious freedom.

Nazir told reporters he was taking legal steps as the district administration did not take action against the principal as demanded by him at the conciliatory talks called by the district collector last week.

The girl's parents have been insisting that criminal proceedings be initiated against the principal.

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