Hindu Student Hospitalized After Being Beaten by Muslim Teacher in India

A 10th-grade student in the district of Kathua in Jammu was sent to a hospital after his school teacher and principal severely beat him for writing "Jai Shri Ram" (Glory to Lord Rama) on his classroom’s blackboard, triggering protests in the area and led to the closure of his school.

The incident came after an incident where a schoolteacher in the state of Uttar Pradesh allegedly instructed her students to slap a Muslim pupil in her class for supposedly failing to memorize his lessons.

Urdu teacher Farooq of the Bani Government Higher Secondary School was accused of dragging the student, identified as Neeraj, out of class and subjecting him to kicks and blows. Protesters also accused the school’s principal, Mohd Hafeez, of severely beating the boy over the “Jai Shri Ram” message he wrote on the blackboard.

Jai Shri Ram has become a slogan for Hindu nationalists in recent years, propelled by the rise of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in 2014.

In response, several students in Bani, a mixed neighborhood, took to the streets on August 26th to demand the suspension of the school’s teacher and principal. The protesters even broke the lock of the school’s gates and entered the premises.

The Vice President of the Bajrang Dal's J&K unit, Pranav Sharma, joined the protesters and demanded action against the teachers, stating that “some people now consider 'Jai Shri Ram' to be a felony.

Sharma also criticized the chief of the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Asaduddin Owaisi, after Owaisi blamed the controversial chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, for the incident involving the Muslim student in Muzaffarnagar, asking Owaisi if he has any comment regarding this new incident.

Similar protests also broke out in other areas in Kathua district, such as Basholi and Duggan.

Various local officials, including the area’s Sub Divisional Magistrate Satish Shama, tried to diffuse the situation. They announced that a three-member inquiry committee would be formed to investigate the incident. The Senior Superintendent of Police of Kathua, Shivdeep Singh Jamwal, confirmed that a case had already been registered and investigations were being conducted.

This would not be the first time a student was threatened with violence for using Hindu nationalist slogans. In March 2022, female students from a government school in Jammu’s Kishtwar claimed they were threatened after chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" (Victory for Mother India) during the morning assembly after the national anthem.

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