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Rights

J&K Educator Who Called Bipin Rawat a 'War Criminal' Sacked from School She Founded: Report

Sabbah Haji's family founded Haji Public School in Jammu's remote Doda district about a decade ago to impart quality education to locals.

New Delhi: Sabbah Haji, the educator in Jammu and Kashmir who was arrested and subsequently secured bail after calling late General Bipin Rawat a “war criminal”, has now been sacked by the Haji Public School, the institution she had founded, The Telegraph has reported.

Haji’s Instagram post attacked Rawat for his defence of the manner in which soldiers had taken a Kashmiri civilian hostage and strapped him to their jeep as a ‘human shield’ in 2017. At the time, both the officer who took the man hostage, Maj Leetul Gogoi, and Rawat as army chief had come in for widespread criticism in Kashmir and outside.

Haji was made to sign bonds executed under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which is termed as “bond to keep the peace”. In effect, it requires a person to “bind” themselves “not to commit a breach of peace” or “do an act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace” if they want to stay free, The Telegraph quoted Doda executive magistrate Shabir Ahmad as saying.

The sacking of Haji comes a week after the school had issued a statement distancing itself from her. “The Haji Public School management would like to clarify that a recent distasteful media post during the rounds has nothing to do with the school and that the said person has acted in their individual capacity after their tenure with the school ended. Ms. Sabbah Haji is not associated with Haji Public School in any official capacity,” the school had written on its official page.

The 39-year-old educator shared an Instagram story of a post shared by the account ‘Stand with Kashmir’ that had called Rawat a ‘war criminal’ in the aftermath of his death in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on December 8.

After the post went viral, many took to social media demanding Haji’s arrest and called for the Haji Public School in Doda district to be shut down. A complaint was submitted by Ravinder Singh Thakur, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. Taking cognisance of the matter, the executive magistrate of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir had started a probe against Haji.

Another complaint was filed with the school education department seeking suspension of the registration of the acclaimed school Sabbah had founded. It was against this backdrop, the school had to announce that she was no longer associated with the institution where she had been a founding director.

Haji’s family set up Haji Public School in Breswana, a remote hamlet with no roads, after her family returned to Jammu and Kashmir about a decade ago.