Building pressure on the students with the repetitive questions and constant interrogation, policemen visited Shaheen Primary and High School in Karnataka's Bidar for the fifth time on Tuesday, December 4, and interrogated the students into the sedition case against the school authorities for staging a play against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
On February 3, Monday, four policemen, along with two female members of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) interrogated the teaching and non-teaching staff of the school.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Basaveshwara Hira, also joined the team and harassed students with a two-hour-long interrogation. Some of those students, who were interrogated were not even a part of the play. The policemen asked the same questions about who gave them the script and dialogues, and where were the rehearsals held.
Sources #ShaheenInternationalSchool:#Bidar police arrest school teacher Fathima and, Nagma, Mother of a child who participated in #AntiCAA_NRC_NPR play. Sedition charges were filed against the school. Cops even questioned the kid. Cops yet to confirm.— Imran Khan (@keypadguerilla) January 30, 2020
R the arrests justified? pic.twitter.com/aUh4Ih7QAK
Speaking to The Logical Indian, the CEO of Shaheen Group of Institutions, Tauseef Madikeri, said, "The police is coming every day and remain here for about four hours. Our students are bold and are answering all the questions. But how is this torture justified?"
The first incident of interrogation of the children on January 28 had drawn nationwide attention after an image of the interrogation went viral. The police then visited the school in plain clothes on January 31, February 1 and February 3, questioning over 60 students.
Why Was The Play Contentious?
The students from classes 4, 5, and 6 had staged the play during the school's annual day celebrations on January 21 on the theme of the CAA and the NRC. One of the characters said she would beat all those who ask for documents during NRC with footwear. Other kids were heard saying that they would not show any documents to prove their citizenship.
The Police later filed an FIR after an activist from the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Neelesh Rakshyala, filed a complaint against the school for allegedly 'insulting' Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The police in Bidar charged the school management with sedition on January 26.
On January 30, on the basis of a child's statements who delivered the dialogues, the police arrested the mother of the child, Nazbunnisa, and the teacher who supervised the play,
Fareeda Begum. The police have since tried to establish that the teachers and parents had a role to play in scripting the play and dialogues.
In the report filed over the two arrests, police accused the school and the two women of "making minor children state that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be hit with a chappal" and also of "trying to spread false information about CAA and NRC."
"We organised the play to spread awareness about CAA and NRC among parents and their children. The play had a positive message. However, the students were given all the freedom for the play but one of the students delivered a few dialogues which were not in the script. One of the students whose mother was arrested said that she will hit anyone who asks for documents with a chappal (slippers). This was not in the script. The student has, however, accepted her mistake and apologised," one of the teachers requesting anonymity told The Logical Indian.