The woman principal of the Karnakata school and the mother of a student, who were arrested earlier this month over a play critical of the Citizenship Amendment Act, have been granted bail. The play was staged in the Bidar school run by the Shaheen Group of Institutions by students of Class 4, 5 and 6 on January 21. Five days later, the school was charged by the police with sedition over remarks allegedly made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The mother, Nazbunissa Minsa, the police had claimed, tutored the child to introduce words in the original script. The woman principal, Fareeda Begum, was arrested because the play was held with her knowledge and permission, they had said.
The school play had caught the attention of the police when a clip of the event was circulated on the Internet. The police claimed they had received a complaint against the play and filed the case.
The incident had sparked outrage after the school administration said that the children, who took part in the play, were questioned numerous times by the police.
“They are kept out of the class for four to five hours regularly. The Deputy Superintendent of Police will come around 1 pm. They will question the children till 4 O’clock. This is what has been happening for the last 4 days. We don’t know why they have put sedition section on is. It is beyond the imagination of any reasonable person,” said the school’s CEO Thouseef Madikeri had told NDTV.
“One of the parents has already apologised. This is like mental harassment for the parents and also the students. They are living in a kind of fear,” he had said.
Several parents in Bengaluru had in an open letter condemned the arrests and the interrogation of the children.
The opposition had also expressed concern over the police action. The Congress leaders had met the Director General and the Inspector General of Police to register their protest.
“Whether this was liable for any police action was a big question mark. The second question mark is the alacrity with which the police have acted and the use of the sedition law. It shows there was some undue influence on the police to take strict action against this institution,” Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao had said.