School headmaster suspended over Urdu prayer issue

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The headmaster of a government-run school was suspended after the VHP complained that he was making children recite an Urdu prayer which the right wing-organisation said was usually recited at madrassas.

Furkan Ali, the headmaster of Bisalpur Primary School has contested his suspension, saying schoolchildren also recite 'saraswati vandana' and 'shakti humein dena data'.

District Magistrate Vaibhav Srivastava said the local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) unit alleged that Ali was forcing children, mostly belonging to the majority community, to recite the prayer which is recited at madrassas.

The prayer being referred to is 'lab pe aati hai dua'.

"They gave a memorandum to Sub-Divisional Magistrate Saurabh Dubey demanding that orders be given for recital of 'saraswati vandana' in morning prayers," the district magistrate said.

The headmaster has been suspended with immediate effect, he said, assuring that measures will be taken to ensure that 'saraswati vandana' is recited in all schools.

Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Devendra Swarup has ordered an inquiry in this connection, the district magistrate said.

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.

Ali, 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' and 'shakti humein dena data', besides the Urdu prayer. Nobody had raised an objection over it but the VHP was politicising the issue, he alleged.

Ali said the truth will come out in the probe, if it is fair.

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