Muzaffarnagar (UP) | As outrage poured in from all quarters including political parties, Muzaffarnagar Police on Saturday booked the teacher accused of making communal comments and ordering her students to slap a Muslim classmate for not doing his homework.
The school was also served a notice by the state education department in connection with the matter.
The teacher, Trapti Tyagi, was booked a day after a video showed her asking her students to slap the Class 2 boy at Neha Public School in Khubbapur village and also making a communal remark.
The video elicited strong words from several political leaders with NCPCR, the apex child right body, demanding action against the accused teacher.
Police booked Tyagi at the complaint of the boy's family, under IPC sections 323 and 504 -- both non-cognizable offences. Such offences are bailable and do not lead to immediate arrest, and require a warrant.
In her defence, Tyagi, has said that the video has been tampered with in order to stoke tensions. She claimed the video was shot by an uncle of the boy.
She said though it was wrong on her part to get a student slapped by his classmates, she was forced to do it as she is handicapped and was not able to stand up and reach the student who had not done his assignment.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Muzaffarnagar Shubham Shukla said that a show cause notice has been served to the school management through the secretary of the management committee Ravinder tyagi.
It has been asked to furnish its response by August 28 as to why the government recognition of the school not be cancelled.
A criminal case would be registered against the authorities of the school, where the incident took place, the BSA said, adding that a team has been sent there.
The matter snowballed into a fray between the BJP and the opposition parties, many of which alleged it was the ruling party's "politics of hate" that prepared the ground for such an incident to happen.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Saturday said it wrote a letter to the district administration and UP Police to file an FIR in the matter.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had on Friday in a post on X condemned the incident saying a teacher could do no worse for the country as he accused the BJP of filling people's minds with poison.
"Sowing the poison of discrimination in the minds of innocent children, turning a holy place like school into a marketplace of hatred -- nothing worse a teacher can do for the country.
"This is the same kerosene spread by the BJP which has set every corner of India on fire. Children are the future of India – we all have to teach them love not hatred," he said.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge slammed the BJP for its "divisive thinking" and said "such incidents tarnish our global image."
Samajwadi Party alleged that it was the "politics of hate" of BJP and RSS which had brought the country to such a pass where a teacher could ask her students to slap a boy from a minority community over his religion.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav too in a post demanded the teacher be sacked immediately, and called her a "blot on teacher society."
BJP spokesperson Harishchandra Srivastava termed Yadav's post on X a political agenda.
"The tweet made by Akhilesh Yadav regarding the Muzaffarnagar school incident is superficial politics and a disgusting political agenda to create disharmony in the society.
"We all in our student life have been punished by the teacher in school for not remembering tables, not correcting maths questions or not having good writing, and this is a natural process of improving discipline and talent in students," he said.
Rashtriya Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary spoke to Irshad, the father of the victim, and assured him of justice.
Pilibhit BJP MP Varun Gandhi in a post on X said the incident was shameful.
"The feeling of hatred towards a child in the temple of knowledge has made the whole country hang its head in shame. A teacher is a gardener who not only builds a personality but also a nation by putting fertiliser in the form of knowledge in the primary rites.
"So the expectations from a teacher are high beyond dirty politics. It is a question of the future of the country," he said.
Leaders of different political and non political organisations including BKU president Naresh Tikait, Uttar Pradesh Imam organisation president Mufti Zulfikar Ali, the vice president of UP Jamiat-e-ulema Hind Maulana Nazer Muhammad and a Congress fact-finding committee led by district Congress president Subodh Sharma visited the family of the boy at Khubbapur on Saturday.
Circle Officer Ravi Shankar had on Friday said that prima facie it has emerged that the student was beaten up for not completing the school work and there was nothing objectionable in it.
In a letter, the NCPCR asked the District Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar to give relevant details about the school where the incident happened.
NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo also urged people on X not to reveal the identity of the victim boy by sharing the video which showed him being slapped by his classmates.