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Law

Muslim Boy Slapping Row: SC Slams UP Govt for Not Counselling Students

The apex court had earlier ordered the state government to approach Tata Institute of Social Sciences to counsel students. In its latest order, it directed the authorities concerned to file compliance report in two weeks.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for not counselling students who were allegedly instructed by their teacher to slap a Muslim boy for not doing his homework.

“We have perused the latest TISS [Tata Institute of Social Sciences] report, which calls for the counselling of all the students who had taken part in the corporal punishment as participants and witnesses. Nothing has been done by the state, it is too late in the day now,” said Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, according to PTI.

Posting the matter for further hearing on March 1, the court directed the state government to provide counselling for children who had been part of the incident and file a compliance affidavit under two weeks.

Additional Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh, Garima Prashad, informed the court that two organisations have volunteered for counselling the students and sought time to file a more detailed affidavit.

The incident took place in the last week of August 2023 at a school in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, where an eight-year-old Muslim boy was slapped by his fellow classmates after their teacher egged them on to do so. In a viral video, the teacher can be heard saying “Mohammedans should be beaten up”.  A large number of opposition leaders expressed outrage over the incident, and also blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party for creating an atmosphere of hate and communal violence that is leading to such incidents.

Earlier, the court had slammed the state government for not complying with its order to depute an agency for counselling the Muslim boy and his classmates who were allegedly instructed by their school teacher to slap him for not doing his homework. The court had appointed TISS Mumbai to suggest the mode and manner of counselling the boy and his classmates.

On November 6 last year, the top court had also instructed the Uttar Pradesh government to facilitate the admission of the boy to a private school. Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, had moved the court seeking a probe into the case.

The court had also, on October 30 last year, directed the state government to immediately consider granting sanction to prosecute the teacher.