The Kochi city police arrested three Mumbai-based publishers on Friday, for printing textbooks with objectionable content that were part of the syllabi taught at the Peace International School in Ernakulam.
The police arrested Dawood Muhamed Vaid, Sameed Ahmed Sheikh and Sahil Hameed who run a Mumbai-based publishing trust named Burooj Realization, on charges of printing text-books that promote religious enmity.
The said text-books were taught in Classes 1 to 8 at the Peace School and had come under the police scanner in October this year.
Ernakulam Assistant Commissioner Laljy told The News Minute that a Kerala police team had visited Mumbai a few days ago for further investigations into the matter.
"We traced them from the details provided in the textbooks. After our teamâ€™s visit to Mumbai to collect details, we summoned the trio to Kochi for questioning. They were arrested after they admitted that there were indeed serious errors in the contents in the textbooks," Laljy said.
The police and the state school curriculum committee had earlier examined these textbooks and concluded that they did contain 'objectionable material.'
Not only were these textbooks not prescribed by the state school curriculum, but a large portion of the syllabus pertained to Islam.
The Islamic Studies textbook taught in Class 2 had objective-type questions dealing with Islam, sacrificing oneâ€™s life for Allah and conversion to Islam among others.
Here is a sample of one such question:
"Suppose your friend Adam/Suzanne has decided to become a Muslim, among the choices what advice will you give?"
The choices given are:
a. he/she has to change her name to Ahmed/Sara immediately
b. he/she is wearing a chain and will need to remove it
c. learn the shahada
d. runaway from home as parents are not Muslims
e. eat halal chicken
The police registered a case against the three under IPC Section 153 (A) for promoting enmity between religious groups. They will be produced in the court later on Saturday.
The Peace School came under the radar of the authorities, following the missing cases of 21 persons from across Kerala, many of whom were in one way or the other connected to the school.
Reports say that the police is likely to question MM Akbar, Managing Director of Peace Foundation, regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, another controversy seems to be brewing after a Malayalam childrenâ€™s magazine published a graphic short story about a Hindu farmer named Ramnath, who lost faith in the Hindu gods and started believing in Christ. Unlike the many Hindu gods who turned a deaf ear to his prayers, Christ promptly listened to his prayers. Having knocked on the doors of Hindu gods many a time, it was only after Ramnath prayed to Christ that he became prosperous.
The story was reportedly published in the December edition of Kunjumalakha, published by an organization named Christeen and has by now sparked outrage on social media.