UP principal, teacher booked for reciting Iqbal’s poem ‘Lab Pe Aati Hai’ in morning assembly

A principal of a government school and a shiksha mitra have been booked in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, for “hurting religious sentiments” after a video of students reciting Muhammad Iqbal’s “Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua” poem during the morning assembly went viral, The Indian Express reported.

The Education Department has also suspended school principal Nahid Siddiqui and ordered a probe against shiksha mitra Wazeeruddin.

The FIR against Siddiqui and Wazeeruddin was registered at Fareedpur police station on a complaint lodged by a local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionary, Sompal Singh Rathore, who alleged that a “religious prayer” was recited at the government school in a bid to convert the students.

“Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua” was penned in 1902 by Muhammad Iqbal, also known as Allama Iqbal who wrote “Saare Jahaan Se Achccha” song.

“A prayer was being recited which said something like, ‘Allah ibadat karna’. This is not the stipulated prayer, and hence school principal Nahid Siddiqui has been suspended. I have also ordered a probe against the shiksha mitra,” Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA), Bareilly, Vinay Kumar said.

In his complaint to the police, the VHP functionary alleged, “…teachers Nahid Siddiqui and Wazeeruddin were making the students reciter prayer as per Muslim method with an intention to hurt sentiments of the Hindus… This is being done by the two teachers to attract students towards Islam… Both the teachers are hurting the sentiments of Hindus and preparing for the students’ conversion.”

The government school, where the alleged incident happened, has 265 students enrolled in Classes 1 to 8.

Meanwhile, 62-year-old Nahid Siddiqui said that she was not in the school when the alleged incident took place as she went on leave from December 12.

Three years ago, in October 2019, the headmaster of a government primary school in Bisalpur area of Pilibhit was suspended following a complaint by local VHP workers who alleged that the teacher made students recite a religious prayer, usually recited in madrasas. In that case, too, the students had recited Allama Iqbal’s “Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua”.

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