Home / News / India /  Sedition-charged Shaheen School in Bidar turns into quarantine centre

BENGALURU : Shaheen School in Bidar, Karnataka, that made international headlines after its students were slapped with sedition charges, has now turned info a covid-19 quarantine centre.

The 5-acre school campus has now become a quarantine centre, that can accommodate around 500 people.

The management is also providing three meals a day and other services for free to those lodged and working at the facility.

“Authorities asked our chairman to use the school facilities after several residents resisted the setting up of such a centre in the middle of the city," Thoufeeq Madikeri, the chief executive of the school said from Bidar, about 670 kms from Bengaluru.

This particular facility has a hostel for about 600 students and some of them from other states who were stuck here, were relocated to one of their three campuses within the city.

Caught between the minority and the right wing debate at the time, the contribution of the school in helping the state deal with the health crisis effectively silencing harsh voices that supported the vilification of the children and the management.

Madikeri said that there are around 193 persons lodged in the facility currently.

One activist, associated with the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a group that is linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 26 January filed a case against the school authorities for the play performed by students of the 4th,5th and 6th grades.who staged a play in late January. A complaint was filed and the police slapped colonial-era sedition charges against the parents and management as it deemed the play to have portrayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in poor light when the entire country was embroiled in the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register for Citizens (NRC) debate. Students also recited “Hum kagaz nahin dikhayenge (We will not show our papers), a popular poem against the CAA penned by stand-up comic Varun Grover.

One parent had put up the play on social media, leading to a chain of events that put the Shaheen Primary and High School under media focus.

Photos and videos of uniformed police officers interrogating school children went viral garnering public outcry and appreciation from people divided on the issue.

One parent and a teacher were jailed for over 15 days.

The issue was discussed at length in the state legislature and also in the parliament by politicians from various parties to target the BJP-led government in Karnataka and at the centre.

Madikeri said that the school had given its school bus and cars as part of its contribution to the district authorities to fight the battle against covid-19.

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