The Delhi Police Tuesday said they booked a Delhi government school teacher, Hema Gulati, for hurling Islamophobic slurs at Muslim students in her class.
Following the incident, a group of students and their families protested outside the school, Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Kailash Nagar, Gandhi Nagar.
“Two of my children study there. We were all shocked to hear this. How can she say such defamatory things without knowing anything about our religion? She commented on our religious texts and places of worship. We are hurt. If the teacher goes unpunished, other teachers will be encouraged to do the same,” Kausar, mother of another student in the school, told the media while protesting outside school.
She said: “There is no use for a teacher who creates differences among students. We demand that the teacher be removed from the school. She should not teach in any school because she will do the same wherever she goes.”
A family member of one of the Class 9 students, who was subjected to Islamophobic abuse, told reporters: “The teacher told our boys that Muslims are bad and spoke extensively about our religious texts, worship places. She told the class that Muslims use animal skin at their religious places. The things said in the class are horrible and make no sense. She targeted the students and told them Muslims haven’t done anything for the country since the Independence.“
The students were celebrating the success of the Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission on 23 August when the teacher, Hema Gulati, targeted Muslim students.
Hema Gulati was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion…), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 298 (uttering words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings).
The incident followed the Muzaffarnagar school incident in Uttar Pradesh last week. In a video widely circulated on social media, a teacher, identified as Tripta Tyagi, can be seen asking the students of Neha Public School in Khubbapur village in Muzaffarnagar to hit 7-year-old Muslim child. Tyagi also encourages the children to hit the crying student harder while declaring that all Muslims children should be taught a lesson.
The incident led to widespread criticism on social media, with many people calling for the teacher to be arrested. However, the posts were said to have been withheld in the country “in response to a legal demand.”
An FIR was been filed against Tyagi based on the boy’s statement and his father’s complaint, under IPC sections 323 (causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace).