Bidar Sedition Case: Student Shifted To School-Run Hostel After Child Welfare Committee's Intervention
The KSPCR noted that the police authorities had violated all norms by sending the 9-year-old girl to a neighbour's guidance without informing the local child welfare committee.
The girl student from Shaheen school in Karnataka's Bidar that was charged with sedition after staging a play critical of CitiAA and NRC has been shifted to the school-run hostel. Her mother was arrested on January 30 on charges of sedition.
Earlier, a guardian was assigned to the 11-year-old girl following the intervention by the Child Welfare Committee.
It was alleged that the girl made remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the play as a part of the school's annual day celebrations on January 2. She had allegedly said that she would beat all those who ask for documents during NRC with footwear.
After the mother was arrested, the girl was under the guidance of her neighbour Hafeez and his family until the Child Welfare Committee ordered a shelter for her.
"When the girl stayed with us, she was scared and would cry often. She kept asking for her mother. On her insistence, we consulted a psychologist, who said she would soon be fine," Hafeez told The Times of India.
Till now, the police have visited the school five times, arrested two women, a parent Najumunissa and a teacher Fareeda Begum, after constant interrogation of about 85 students. Some reports also claim that the students were subjected to five hours of interrogation. The bail hearing for the two women is scheduled on February 11.
Taking note of the situation, the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSPCR) criticised the Bidar police for violating norms of the Juvenile Justice Act. The child rights body in a letter to the superintendent of police and the deputy commissioner alleged that an "atmosphere of fear" was created at the school and demanded that the police should stop questioning the students.
The KSPCR noted that the police authorities have violated all norms by sending the 9-year-old girl to a neighbour's home without informing the local child welfare committee. Meanwhile, Directors of Shaheen Education Foundation have approached the Karnataka High Court seeking to quash a sedition case filed against the Shaheen Primary School.
The school management was also booked under Sections 124(A), 153(A), 504 and 505 of IPC. A counsel appearing for the school management submitted a plea in the court urging to quash the FIR.