A day after the State government sent show cause notices to private schools found taking tutorials on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday filed a police complaint against the ‘abuse of power’ by unknown government officials.
In a complaint filed at Matunga police station, BJP’s State vice-president Kirit Somaiya said the government machinery has created terror among schools and students, who were merely participating in an awareness drive organised by “social organisations”. The notices are unconstitutional and void, the complaint said.
“Maharashtra government has issued an advisory (2019/136) to all schools asking them to desist from holding politically sensitive tutorials on CAA/NRC. The advisory is being used by the State School Eduction Department to terrorise teachers and students. The notices were served on January 13, demanding an immediate responses from schools,” the complaint said.
The complaint said the School Education Department has insulted the President and Parliament by acting against the awareness drive. It said the language used in the advisory is threatening and has created an environment of fear among the teaching community, and urged the Mumbai Police to register an FIR at the earliest. “The State notices have played with the future of the students who just wish to be aware of their rights,” it said.
School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad had on Monday issued notices warning the schools to desist from holding lectures, classes or tutorials on the CAA and the NRC. Condemning the BJP for taking up such an exercise, she said the government would not allow any politics in schools in the State.
“We have asked all schools to teach motivational learnings, health and hygiene. I request the school administrations to not play with young minds. Whatever politics you want to play, do it on different platforms,” she had said.
The move followed demands from her party and Cabinet colleagues to take action after a school in Mulund courted controversy for taking classes on the CAA.
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