Bidar school kids quizzed third time by cops over their play against NRC-CAA

While a parent and a head-teacher are in jail, police questioned over 60 minor students.
Bidar school kids quizzed third time by cops over their play against NRC-CAA
Bidar school kids quizzed third time by cops over their play against NRC-CAA
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The Bidar police on Saturday questioned around 60 students of the Shaheen Primary and High School in connection with the sedition case filed against the school and two others for staging an anti-CAA play. The police booked five members of the school’s management. The head mistress Fareeda Begum and the mother of a child who had taken part in the play, were arrested on January 30 under several sections of the IPC including sedition.

Speaking to TNM, Touseef Madikeri, who heads the school, said that the police questioned children aged between 9 and 12 years. “DySP Basaveshwara Hira and two other police officers came and questioned the children. They started at 12 pm and finished the interrogation at 4 pm,” he said.

Touseef says that the children were asked whether they watched the play and whether the school was “spreading false information” about CAA and NRC.

“They asked the children whether the school had taught them or coerced them into making statements against Prime Minister Modi. They answered whatever questions they knew,” Touseef added.

Read: Bidar school sedition case: Youngest student cops questioned over play is 9 years old

The FIR was registered against the school on January 26 following a complaint registered by an ABVP member Nilesh Rakshala. However, the two women were arrested on January 30 and the remand application was filed on January 31.

In the remand application, the Bidar new Town Police have said that the parent Nazbunnisa and Fareeda Begum were being charged under section 124A (sedition) along with sections 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 505(2) (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes), 153A (promoting, attempting to promote disharmony) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code. 

The police have accused the school and the two women of “trying to spread false information about CAA and NRC” and also “making minor children state that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be hit with a chappal”.

A video of the play had gone viral on social media after on January 26.

According to the remand application, a copy of which is with TNM, the Bidar New Town Police questioned the girl, who took part in the play. “The girl told the police during questioning that her mother Nazbunnisa told her to make the statement against Prime Minister Narendra Modi while she was practicing the lines for the play at home,” the remand application states.

However, the school has denied this and said that the line was misinterpreted and was not targeted at the PM. They have also said the child added a line as extempore.

On Saturday, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi met the women in the jail. He told TNM that they were scared and were hoping that the court would give them bail. Nazbunnisa is a widow and there was no one to look after her child, added Owaisi. 

Read: 'They are scared': Owaisi after visiting Bidar women arrested for kids' play on CAA-NRC

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