The Somaiya School in Mumbai on Tuesday terminated the services of its principal Parveen Shaikh after OpIndia, a Hindutva website accused of spreading misinformation and hate speech, targeted her for her purported political views.

Shaikh had been asked to resign by the school management on April 26. She told Scroll at the time that she had no intention to do so.

In a statement on Tuesday, the school management said: “It has come to our attention that the personal social media activities of Ms. Parveen Shaikh…have been starkly misaligned with the values we cherish.”

On April 24, OpIndia carried a story claiming to expose Shaikh’s “disturbing social media behaviour”. It accused her of being a “Hamas-sympathiser”, “anti-Hindu” and a supporter of “Islamist Umar Khalid” based on posts that she had “liked” from her Twitter account.

Since then, the publication and its editor have been regularly calling for Sheikh’s ouster online, suggesting that her political views are detrimental to the “thousands of unsuspecting children” in her care as an educator. This has triggered a battery of hate speech against Shaikh on Twitter.

“Given the gravity of these concerns, and after careful consideration, the management has discontinued Ms. Parveen Shaikh’s association with Somaiya Vidyavihar to ensure that our ethos of unity and inclusivity is not compromised,” the school management said.

Shaikh confirmed to Scroll that she had received a termination notice on Tuesday and expressed disappointment that the management had chosen not to support her in the face of a “vitriolic public vilification campaign”.

“My termination notice is completely illegal and based on defamatory lies peddled against me by OpIndia and its editor Nupur J Sharma,” Shaikh said. “My work as a school principal has been exceptional and my termination for such reason is wrongful and unjust.”

Shaikh worked at the private school in the city’s Vidyavihar locality for 12 years and was its principal for over seven years. “I hold firm belief in our legal system and the Indian Constitution and I am currently considering my legal options,” she said.

Shaikh rarely posts on her Twitter account. When she does, it is related to education. However, she has “liked” several posts in support of the besieged territory of Gaza, where Israel and Hamas have been fighting a war since October. Shaikh also liked several posts that were critical of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his regime.

Shaikh told Scroll that the school’s action “appears to be politically motivated”.

Several parents had spoken out in support of Shaikh and requested the school to withdraw its decision.

This is a developing story. It will be updated as more details become available.