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School headmistress suspended over namaz in class

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT authorities have suspended the headmistress of a government school in Kolar district of Karnataka following outrage from Public over Muslim students being allowed to offer namaz prayers inside the classroom.

Last Sunday, locals barged into the Mulbagal Someswara Palaya Bale Changappa Government Kannada Model Higher Primary School and held protests after a video purportedly of some students offering namaaz in a classroom on Friday went viral.

The Kolar district administration then ordered an inquiry, following which Block Education Officer (BEO) Girijeswari Devi suspended Uma Devi, the school headmistress.

BEO Girijeswari Devi told news reporters: “We had sent a four-member team to the school to conduct an inquiry and found that the headmistress has made a mistake by giving students permission to conduct namaz in the school on Friday.”

“Muslims students are given permission to offer namaz during the break and usually they come back after that. But there is no permission to conduct prayers on the school campus, hence we suspended the headmistress,” she said. “There is no provision to offer any kind of religious prayers in government schools…. Hence this action had been taken.”

The headmistress had earlier said that she had not given permission to the students to offer namaz in the classroom. “Students offered namaz themselves in my absence,” she had said.

State Education Minister B C Nagesh, who had also ordered an investigation, said such incidents should not happen in school. “No institution can allow such things. We will take strict action based on the report,” he had said.

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