Kolar Namaz Row: Headmistress Suspended for Allowing Muslim Students to Offer Namaz Within School Premises

After facing outrage from Hindutva organizations for allowing Muslim students to perform Friday namaz prayers, the headmistress of Mulbagal government school in Karnataka’s Kolar district has been suspended on Tuesday, January 25.

Since December last year, some students of Mulbagal Someshwara Palaya Bale Changappa Government Kannada Model Higher Primary School have been offering Friday prayers inside the premises.

Hindutva group in Kolar created ruckus over Muslim students offering namaz within school premises on Friday, January 21.

A video has gone viral on social media on Sunday, January 23, in which a group of students are offering prayers at the government school. In the video, a group of right wing men can also be seen barging into the school office and shouting, leading to the intervention of police officials.

DDPI Revana Siddappa had issued a comprehensive report to the District Collector, who had inquired into the case for allowing Muslim students to offer namaz within the school premises. Later, the authorities suspended the headmaster Uma Devi.

Earlier, Devi, under pressure, had denied any knowledge about the incident. She had told THG, “I’m not aware of students offering Namaz. Though, students had asked permission to allow them to go for masjid, I didn’t permit as it was risky to send them out because the school is situated near a highway road.”

After the inquiry it was found that the head mistress allowed the children to perform namaz with good intention as she didn’t want their attendance to be missed.

Talking to THG, Naseer, a local activist said, “Many students would leave the premises for afternoon prayers and then would not come back or come late for the afternoon session. So, it was decided that they could perform namaz inside the school during the lunch break.”

Out of 366 students, 161 students belong to the Muslim community. Nearly, 25-30 students were performing namaz every Friday since last December.

Meanwhile, several students have alleged that Puja is also conducted every week in the school.

Naseer told THG, “We never objected when they conduct Puja and also collect Rs. 10 from students. We’re people with secular mind and thinking, but when Muslims started offering Namaz, they created such big issue.

This incident comes at a time when Karnataka has been seeing increasing number of incidents where minorities, including Muslims and Christians are being targeted by Hindu hardline groups.

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