The Bidar Police in Karnataka on Tuesday questioned schoolchildren of Shaheen School for the fifth time, in a case related to an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act play the school had staged in January, The NewsMinute reported. The police had filed sedition cases against the head teacher of the school and the mother of one of the children last week, and arrested the two women.
The police have claimed that the case was registered because the play insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The head teacher of the school had organised the play with students of Class 4, 5 and 6 participating in it on January 21. The police made the arrests based on a complaint by Nilesh Rakshala, an activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Following the complaint, three policemen visited the school and questioned the students, including a nine-year old.
In a video of the play, which The News Minute said it had seen, a child is shown saying: “The government is telling Muslims to leave India and go away.” In reply, the other child says, “Amma, Modi is saying show documents of your father and grandfather otherwise he is telling us to leave the country.” A third child responds: “Hit them with slippers if anybody asks for documents.”
On Tuesday, the police said they had “intensified” the probe into the case, PTI reported. Police personnel on Tuesday visited the school in plainclothes, as opposed to the uniforms they had used on January 28.
“Morning three police personnel came with two members of Karnataka State Child Rights Protection Commission,” a school official said. “Later, Deputy Superintendent of Police H Basaveshwara joined them.” The police have been questioning the students about the script of the play and the persons who wrote specific dialogues.
Basaveshwara refused to respond to queries about Tuesday’s visit to the school. He said the police are still investigating the case.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA and former minister UT Khader attacked the BS Yediyurappa-led government in Karnataka, as well as the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. Addressing a press conference, he alleged that the central and state governments were trying to suppress the voice of people in the country using law enforcement agencies. Khader also claimed that the children were forced to sit at the police station during the inquiry.