'Not ashamed, this is how we tackle them': UP teacher who encouraged students to slap Muslim classmate
Two days after the video of a Uttar Pradesh school teacher ordering her students to slap their Muslim classmate went viral, the teacher has continued to justify her despicable actions.
Tripta Tyagi, a school teacher and the Principal of Neha Public School in Muzaffarpur, can be seen ordering her students — belonging to class 2 — to slap their classmate.
She can also be heard making communal remarks as children took turns striking the 7-year-old boy at the instigation of their teacher.
As the boy stood there with tears, Tyagi could be heard saying: “...these Muslim children…Why don’t you all slap him with full force?” as she egged on the class to assault the helpless child.
Now, Speaking to NDTV, the teacher said she wasn't ashamed of her actions and claimed that the people of her village were with her. "I am not ashamed. I have served the people of this village as a teacher. They all are with me," she told the channel.
Tyagi also doubled down on resorting to violence to tackle students. "They have made laws, but we need to control the children in schools. This is how we tackle them," Tyagi said in her interview with NDTV.
An FIR has been filed against the teacher based on a complaint from the boy's parents. She has been booked under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult), both non-cognisable offences. They are bailable and do not result in immediate arrest.
The teacher tried to defend her actions earlier on Saturday by claiming that the video had been tampered with to stoke tensions. Tyagi also went on to allege that she was forced to do it as she has been handicapped and was not able to reach the student who had not done his assignment.
"...there was pressure from the child's parents to be strict with him. I am handicapped I can’t get up…he was not doing homework for the last two months…so I made 2-3 students beat him up so that he would start doing his work,” said Tyagi.
On Saturday, Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate Arvind Mallappa said that a complaint has been registered and the child is getting counselling sessions. Mallappa further said that during the investigation it came to know that the viral video was filmed by the victim’s family member.
Reacting to the incident, the 7-year-old's father said his son had been tortured for hours and called for legal action. "My son is seven years old. This incident happened on August 24. The teacher made the students beat my child again and again. My nephew who had gone to school for some work made the video," he told ANI.
However, the father also claimed that it wasn't communal. "This is not a Hindu-Muslim matter. We want the law should take its own course."
'Because of BJP's hate politics'
Meanwhile, opposition parties said the incident resulted from the BJP's hate-filled politics. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, "the manner in which a teacher gets a child thrashed by other children on the basis of religious discrimination at a school in UP is a disturbing result of the hate-filled politics of the BJP-RSS."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, "Sowing the poison of discrimination in the minds of innocent children, turning a holy place like school into a marketplace of hatred – nothing worse a teacher can do for the country. This is the same kerosene spread by the BJP which has set every corner of India on fire. Children are the future of India - do not hate them, we all have to teach love together."
Samajwadi Party alleged that the "politics of hate" of BJP and RSS had brought the country to such a pass where a teacher could ask her students to slap a boy from a minority community over his religion. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in a post demanded the teacher be sacked immediately, and called her a "blot on teacher society."
Reacting to the incident, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O Brien claimed that PM Modi and Amit Shah were "the managers of hate factories set up across the country." At the same time, his party colleague and Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev said BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh is attempting to "inject the poison of communalism among the children and youth."
The incident also drew criticism from Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi who posted on X, "the video from Muzaffarnagar where a teacher is asking her students to slap a Muslim boy is a product of the last 9 years. The message being drilled into the minds of little children is that one can beat up & humiliate a Muslim without any repercussions."