The Karnataka child rights commission has pulled up the district police for a number of violations, including norms under the Juvenile Justice Act over the Bidar school sedition case. This comes after the Bidar police interrogated school children in an inquiry of an anti-CAA play performed at the school function. Earlier on January 30, police had arrested a widowed mother of a nine-year-old student along with headmistress in the case.
According to reports, the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSPCR) chairman Dr. Antony Sebastian has sent a letter to Bidar officials, the SP, and the deputy commissioner, with copies marked to the Karnataka DGP, stating that an “atmosphere of fear” was created at the Shaheen Primary School by the police probe. It has asked police to stop questioning the schoolchildren. The report further mentions that the KSPCR also found that officials violated norms by sending the nine-year-old to be looked after by a neighbour without informing the local child welfare committee.
The Bidar district police have interrogated students, aged nine to 12 years, of Shaheen Urdu Primary School several times in the past week over their roles in the play on the citizenship law. The police have been questioning the children and staff about those who wrote the script and assigned to deliver specific dialogues.
The cops have already arrested Nazbunnisa, the mother of one of the children, who had allegedly delivered the controversial dialogue and their teacher Fareeda Begum, who oversaw the event. The two were booked under Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes), 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting, attempting to promote disharmony) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code.
An intensified investigation is on into the 'sedition case' against the management and staff of a school, where children had allegedly insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others, in the context of CAA, in a drama they staged on January 21.
(with PTI inputs)