A teacher at a government school in Karnataka’s Shimoga has been transferred pending a departmental inquiry after students accused her of telling Muslim pupils to “go to Pakistan” since “this is a Hindu country”.
Manjula Devi allegedly made these comments in the classroom to two Muslim students of Class V on August 30 at the Government Urdu Primary School in Tipu Nagar, Shimoga, some 300km from here.
The controversy comes days after a school headmistress in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, got several students to slap a Muslim boy after blaming his religion for his failure to learn the multiplication table.
In Karnataka, the Congress-led government took preliminary action by transferring the teacher, sending a signal that such complaints would be addressed.
In Uttar Pradesh, an FIR was registered against the teacher after attempts were made initially to play down the matter on the ground that the parents had not filed a complaint. But another FIR was readily lodged against a fact-checker for uploading the video although he had removed it soon after and many others had already shared the video on social media.
In Karnataka, block education officer P. Nagaraj told reporters on Sunday that Manjula had denied speaking such words but admitted to scolding the students for being unruly in class and disrespecting her.
He added that the teacher had been transferred to another school in the same district pending an investigation.
He said the department had acted after receiving a written complaint from a local Janata Dal Secular leader, A. Nazrullah, on Thursday.
Manjula allegedly told the two students to “go to Pakistan”, adding: “This is the country of Hindus.”
The two children later complained to their parents, who told people in their locality about it. Once the matter came to the attention of local politicians, Nazrullah lodged the complaint.
Karnataka has witnessed instances of communal intolerance involving its educational institutions in the recent past.