A video of a group of girls in red and white uniforms is making the rounds on social media. In the clip, a woman is sitting on a chair while the girls can be seen kneeling down and touching the ground with their foreheads a number of times like one does while offering prayer. The video is being circulated with the claim that Hindu girls are being trained to offer namaz in a school in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh.
Rahul Pandey of Right Wing propaganda website OpIndia tweeted the video and said that female students were being trained to offer namaz in their school and the real ‘Kerala Story’ was going on in Baghpat, also known as Jatland. (Archived link)
छात्राओं को स्कूल में मिल रही नमाज पढ़ने की ट्रेनिंग
जाटलैंड कहे जाने वाले UP के बागपत में चल रही असली #TheKeralaStory
— Rahul Pandey (@STVRahul) May 28, 2023
Shivam Dixit, associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh mouthpiece Panchjanya, tweeted the video saying that a female teacher was training Hindu girls to offer namaz in Baghpat. He claimed that preparations were on to turn the girls into Ayesha, Sania and Nafiza. (Archived link)
Alt News performed a Google search to gather information on this incident. We found an article by ABP Ganga containing a statement by Munesh Chowdhary, principal of Hoshiyari Devi Girls Inter College situated in western Uttar Pradesh. He says that a programme for students titled ‘Unity in Diversity‘ was organized in the school. It was meant for students belonging to all religions. A play, which was part of the programme had a scene which can be seen in the viral video. The video was shot during rehearsals. He further revealed that as soon as he came to know about the scene being planned, it was immediately cut out. When the play was presented in front of students, the scene was not included.
Upon searching for related keywords on YouTube, we also found a video report by ABP Ganga. At the 1:18 mark of this clip, the statement by the principal of Hoshiyari Devi Girls Inter College can be heard, in which he reiterates that this was a part of the rehearsal of a play.
We noticed that Baghpat police had also put out a statement on this issue. In their investigation, the police found that preparations for a cultural program were going on in the school, under which some girls of Hoshiyari Devi Girls Inter College, located in Rathoda village under Chhaprauli police station area, were set to participate. The video shows a part of the preparations for this by a teacher of the school. They also added that the viral video was not a recent one. When the police talked to school president Rampal Shastri, manager Dharamveer Singh and principal Munesh Chowdhary regarding the viral video, they explained that a teacher from the school was preparing for the cultural program and the claims related to female students offering namaz in school are untrue.
— Baghpat Police (@baghpatpolice) May 28, 2023
To sum it up, several social media users shared a clip of the rehearsal of a play by some girls and gave it a false communal spin with the misleading claim that they were being trained to offer namaz at a school.
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