In yet another instance of religious discrimination amid fear of coronavirus, students of a minority school in Indore were allegedly made to sit outside classrooms during class 12 book-keeping exams.
47 girls whose parents complained of discrimination belonged to a school run by the Islamia Karimia Society. They were reportedly made to sit on benches and tables in the verandah, while students from other schools were seated inside.
A parent apparently recorded a video of the incident and uploaded it on social media. Following this, Bhopal Central MLA Arif Masood wrote to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan:
If divisions of hatred are created in places which should teach lessons of communal harmony, then it is difficult to say where it would take the State.
Now they’ve started exhibiting their cruelty in open. Yet again under the banner of #COVID19 Muslim girls made to appear the exams sitting outside separately#SabYaadRakhaJayega— Jawad (@jawadtweets) June 12, 2020
Minority school students made to sit separately during board exam in Indore: https://t.co/NGOUeaRDf2
Atrocious behaviour from the part of school management.— TeeJay (@tjose66) June 12, 2020
Minority school students made to sit separately during board exam in Indore https://t.co/ILvLiFll5s
Halim Khan, secretary of the Islamia Karimia Society, said that there was no discrimination. According to him, the district administration had asked schools to prepare a list of students residing in containment areas so that they could be made to sit separately.
Some parents felt their children were being discriminated against, which is untrue. We have asked the government to at least let them sit inside classrooms even if a separate seating arrangement is to be made.
The district education officer of Indore said that no separate seating arrangement was made on the basis of students’ religion as the school had no idea of their identities.
Where earlier 500 students could sit, not more than 100-150 can sit now while observing physical distancing. So, we had to use verandas and cultural stages to make students sit. We provided them with seats and tables.
At a sensitive time like this, these kind of incidents can lead to outrage among people.