Free Press Journal

Zakir Naik school: Parents told to shift their children out


Mumbai: After freezing the bank account of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik-run Islamic International School, two officers of Maharashtra state education department visited the school based in Wadi Bandar, Mazgaon on Monday. Moreover, the officials told the parents to withdraw the admission of their wards and seek admission in a different school.

During their ten minutes meeting, the education officers first asked the parents to gather in the assembly hall. They informed the parents that the IIS does not have required the permission to run the school.

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On November 22, 15-member delegation including IIS students, their parents and teaching staff had met the state education minister Vinod Tawde and had urged him to protect their rights. They wanted to ensure the future of their children was not hampered.

“Despite assurances from the Maharashtra education minister a week ago, the school is being shut down though there is no notice in writing. We have applied twice for a NOC but the state government has kept it pending. They have neither responded in affirmative or otherwise,” said IIS principal Imran Qureshi.

“The parents have decided to move the high court against the state government’s decision to shut down the school,” Qureshi added.

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Qureshi gave the fact sheet to the Free Press Journal of the applications made by the school authorities. “Whereas the fact is that the second application for obtaining the NOC was submitted to and received by the Maharashtra Education Department on July 1.  The first application was sent in 2011, but due to certain changes in regulations, a fresh application was to be submitted,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the worried parents Musharaf Armar told the Free Press Journal that his two children are studying at present in the school and he is not willing to withdraw their admissions. “At least 13 children from my Armar family are studying in the school and I am attached with it for the last 15 years. I have emotional attachment,” said Armar, who runs a textile business in the city.