Karnataka High Court has quashed the sedition proceedings initiated against authorities of a minority-run school over a skit enacted by their pupils against the Citizenship Amendment Act in 2020, when the state was ruled by the BJP.
The Gulbarga bench of the high court on Wednesday quashed the case against four members of the management of the Shaheen Primary and High School in Bidar, nearly 700km from here, multiple legal sources confirmed.
School CEO Tauseef Madikeri told The Telegraph on Thursday: “We had expected this outcome since the police didn’t even file the chargesheet. They needed to have some proof to file a chargesheet.”
“The judge said that it doesn’t attract sedition and all the allegations are false because the prosecution didn’t have proof of any seditious activities in the school. So the case was disposed of.”
Students of Classes IV, V and VI had enacted the skit on January 21, 2020, at a time the movement against the new citizenship matrix — seen as discriminatory against Muslims — was at its peak.
A video clip, purportedly of the play, that was widely circulated at the time and reported by this newspaper shows a child saying: “The government is asking Muslims to leave India.”
In response, another child asks a “mother” character, also played by a child: “Amma, Modi is asking us to show documents of our father and grandfather. If not, he is telling us to leave the country.”
To this the “mother” responds: “If anyone asks for documents, hit them with slippers.”
Neelesh Rakshyal, a man who at the time described himself as a social worker and farmer, lodged a police complaint saying the skit was seditious and had insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The police then registered a sedition case.
The members of the school management who have been discharged are Allauddin, Abdul Khaleq, Mohammed Bilal Inamdar and Mohammed Mehta.
Tauseef attributed the case to “professional jealously” but did not elaborate.