On February 12, it was reported that a school in the Suti area of Murshidabad district, West Bengal was vandalised after the headmaster allegedly asked girl students not to come to school wearing hijab/burqa.

The discriminatory policy began in Karnataka where several educational institutions have barred students from entering campuses wearing hijab/burqa. The matter is now sub-judice in the Karnataka High Court but the issue has spread to other states of the country.

BJP West Bengal MLA Sukanta Majumdar, BJP Delhi VP Sunil Yadav and BJP UP spokesperson Prashant Patel Umrao claimed that protesters in Murshidabad hurled bombs at the school that disallowed students from entering the premises wearing hijabs.

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Network18 editor Aman Chopra and ABP News editor Manogya Loiwal also promoted the claim.

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Pro-BJP propaganda outlet OpIndia published an article where the claim was made. Incidentally, OpIndia has quoted a report by India Today, but this report does not state that bombs were hurled during the protest in Murshidabad.

Ground reports disagree with online claims

We checked for various news reports in both English and Bangla to see if there are reports of bombs being hurled at the school but there were none.

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Alt News reached out to a local journalist who was present on the ground during the protest. The reporter also stated that no bombs were hurled at the school. The headmaster on Friday asked a few girls to not wear hijab/burqa to school and the next day locals, including guardians of the students, gathered around the school. The situation soon turned intense and people started vandalising the school building. After the police arrived at the site, protestors began hurling stones at cops and demanded that the headmaster should be handed over to them. The police responded with mild lathi-charge and tear gas, said the reporter. The situation was subsequently brought under control and 17-18 people were arrested.

We also spoke with Suti Block 1 BDO (Block Development Officer) HM Riajul Haque who told us that the reports of bombs being hurled are not true. He said that he was protecting the headmaster during the violence, and the other staff members were being protected by the local police. Stones/bricks were hurled at the school but there were no bombs. The police arrested 18 people. He also informed that there was no instruction by the education ministry to ban hijabs in educational institutions and the headmaster acted on his own. A report will be sent to the higher administration based on which a decision will be made regarding the headmaster, he furthered.

Hence, reports of bombs being hurled at a school in Murshidabad are not supported by grounds reports and the local administration’s statement. While the school was vandalised and locals resorted to stone-pelting, no bombs were used in the violence.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc