Bidar police officers interrogate 85 school children 5 times for 9 days for ‘anti-CAA play’ | India News
Police in Bidar, Karnataka, interrogated nearly 85 children of Shaheen School for the fifth time on February 4 about a case in which their school was accused of sedition for organizing a work on January 21 that was considered “critical” of The CAA Citizenship Law review. The accusations include “derogatory comments” made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A student’s mother has been arrested and remains in jail. The inconsolable daughter, who is in class 6 and is barely 10 years old, told TOI that she has not slept since her mother was arrested. “I’m really scared. My mother is everything to me. I want the police to send my mother home,” she said. Her mother Nasbunnisa is a widow. The girl is now under the care of one of her teachers. Fareeda Begum, teacher from Urdu, she was also arrested along with the mother on January 30.
A member of the school’s management said the police aligned the children in classes 4 to 6 and “asked the same question” each time: it was the “objectionable” part of the original script. “They even question the children who were not part of the play,” said Yusuf Ahmad, the school’s principal. “Almost 85 children have been questioned so far. Every day the police practically camp at school. It is torture.
And Mariswamy, former president of the Karnataka Children’s Rights Agency (KSCPCR), said the uniformed police interrogated the children, which violates the rules of children’s rights. “The police must first refer the case to the department’s youth unit, but this has been blatantly violated,” he said.
“The police have been questioning children intimidatingly. We need to see how this impacts the children’s psyche. They will have scars for the rest of their lives, ”said lawyer Clifton D Rozario of Manthan Law, among the signers of the statement. Many have urged the national child rights agency NCPCR to take due note of the case.
Police filed sedition charges against the administration of Shaheen School, part of the Shaheen Institutions Group, on January 26 after local ABVP member Neelesh Rakshyala filed a complaint with the Bidar New Town police station.
He later arrested Nasbunnisa for allegedly giving private lessons to his daughter to make derogatory comments against Modi in the play. The “objectionable” dialogue was not in the original script, police say. Fareeda Begum was arrested for “allowing the work to continue.” Reportedly, the portion contained was an impromptu addition.
DSP researcher Basaveshwara Heera has also been involved in the interrogation of the children and said he and his team were “simply doing their duty to see if their (children) corroborate that of the teacher, the father and the school.”
Rozario said the Bidar case was “an example that the police were being used by the state to take strong measures against dissent.” He added: “The foundation of democracy is to be critical of politics. And dissent in this case is not out of the ordinary. People from all over the country, in fact Lakhs, are on the street against it. Judges retired to whose lawyers are who in society have taken the position that this is unconstitutional. ”
Meanwhile, the Bidar session court has moved in search of an advance bond for five members of the school administration, including the institution’s founder, Abdul Qadeer. On Wednesday, the court suspended the case and published the hearing for February 11.