Rasheed Raises DPS’ ‘Abhaya’ Ban Issue; ‘We’re Not France,’ Govt Asserts



Delhi Public School Athwajan
Delhi Public School Athwajan

State Government on Saturday said that J&K “is not France” viz-a-viz ban on Abhaya – the female Muslim dress.

Speaking during Zero Hour, Independent Lawmaker, Engineer Rasheed raised the issue of ban on wearing of Abhaya by female staff of Delhi Public School (DPS) Athwajan.

DPS, chain of schools run by DP Dhar Trust, has banned Abhaya inside its Athwajan campus. The issue cropped up when a lady teacher was conveyed by DPS management led by Vijay Dhar that she should “opt between her Abhaya and job”.

Er Sheikh Ab Rasheed
Engineer Sheikh Abdul Rasheed

Responding to the concern of the Lawmaker, Government spokesperson and Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar told the Lower House, “we are not France.”

Pertinent to mention here, France a member of European Union has banned Hijab and Abhaya in public. No Muslim can afford to wear it or she will have to pay fine.

“It (DPS) is a Private school, and we will get truth of it (the Abhaya ban issue),” Akhtar told the house.

“We live in a country which has multi-cultural, multi-religion setup,” he said, “we have secular fabric. No force on any such issue will be accepted; we are not France.”

He maintained that the DPS Management “is sensitive to this issue”. “The government will raise the issue with the DPS society.”

Naeem Akhtar
Naeem Akhtar

The lady teacher who worked in DPS Athwajan for three months resigned from the job in protest to the diktat. DPS students on Friday boycotted classes and exams and demanded apology from the DPS management and recall of the teacher.

But the Principal of the DPS told the students that the school “was following the rule”. The law of the school says “that no female teacher can wear Abhaya inside the school campus during working hours”.

Rasheed also raised the issue of detention of two Kashmiri girls at IGI Airport New Delhi. “They have been released only last evening at 11 PM,” Akhtar said.

Two MBBS pursuing girls were on way home from Bangladesh and were detained by Delhi Police at the airport.

“They were detained on suspicion,” Akhtar said.

Rasheed pressed his question and asked government to clarify as “why only Kashmiris were questioned and arrested on suspicion?” “Where were they released so late in the night? They (two girls) are our honour,” the Langate Lawmaker said.

Further, the minister said, that the government has placed the Warden of a government run hostel in Tulsi Bagh under suspension.

“I visited the hospital where seven students have been admitted,” Akhtar told the house, “the teacher seems to be psychopath.”

Seven girls were brutally beaten by a teacher in a hostel in Tulsi Bagh area of summer capital yesterday. The issue was raised by NC’s Habba Kadal Lawmaker, Ms Shameema Firdous.

“The students have been beaten in most brutal way,” he revealed.

He said that an FIR has been lodged against the teacher but she “was absconding”. “Police have raided three-four places but she has gone underground.”


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