‘Abhaya’ Ban: ‘DPS Ousted us from Campus,’ say Students, Demand Recall of Teacher

Riyaz ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

The DPS students holding protest in Press Colony on Monday. (KL Image courtesy: Mehraj Bhat)
The DPS students holding protest in Press Colony on Monday. (KL Image courtesy: Mehraj Bhat)

After Delhi Public School Athwajan pre-poned its summer vacations closing school from Monday, its students alleged that they were ousted from the school today.

Amid pro-Abhaya sloganeering, scores of students from Delhi Public School demanded apology from the school management and roll back of “anti-Muslim law”.

A female teacher, who taught students from Class 8th to 12th for last three months at DPS, resigned in protest after she was asked to choose either her job or Abhaya. The lady teacher wore Abhaya during her stint in the school and the school law prohibits any such dress inside the school campus during class hours.

The School behaviour invited criticism and the management led by Vijay Dhar was asked to tender apology.

After the teacher resigned, students boycotted the classes on last Friday and even stayed away from exams. They demanded an unconditional apology from the Management and recall of the teacher. They submitted a memorandum with Principal who had assured them that they would be responded on Monday.

The student boycotted classes and stayed away from exams on Friday (June 17, 2016) against ban on Abhaya inside its Athwajan campus. (KL Image by special Arrangement)
The student boycotted classes and stayed away from exams on Friday (June 17, 2016) against ban on Abhaya inside its Athwajan campus. (KL Image by special Arrangement)

“We demand roll back of the anti-Muslim law,” the student group who protested in Press Colony this afternoon said. “We have a secular fabric and why should be any dress which identifies any particular religion be banned.”

“This is not the issue of Abhaya only, tomorrow it could be an issue with Sikhs and next with Hindus,” they said.

The students said that they were surprised “as how school abruptly announced summer vacations”. “Our syllabus is incomplete and our first term exam starts on July 15,” the students, who spoke in Urdu and English only, said, however, they didn’t wish their identities be disclosed.

The DPS Athwajan usually closed for summer vacations on July Ist and would reopen after twelve days, the students informed.

“We were supposed to get resolution of our demands today,” the students said, “but once we entered the school premises today, police were called in and we were ousted from the premises.”

After facing wrath of the society, separatists and government as well, the DPS on Sunday evening issued a one liner statement saying it “apologies”. However, it didn’t explain as what had happened which led to resignation and subsequent closure of the school “in view of summer vacation”.

“We love our school,” the students asserted, “magar hum buraayun kay khilaaf hai.”

When asked whether DPS faculty had raised the issue of such a directive on dress code, the students in one voice said, “it is private sector.”

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