U.P. teacher booked for asking kids to hit Muslim classmate

FIR registered as non-cognisable report, meaning that police cannot investigate or arrest accused without court approval; in viral video, teacher heard referring pejoratively to student’s Muslim faith

August 26, 2023 11:18 am | Updated 10:01 pm IST - Lucknow

The teacher, identified as Trapti Tyagi, can be seen asking the students of class 2 of a private school in Khubbapur village under Mansurpur police station area to hit the hapless child.

The teacher, identified as Trapti Tyagi, can be seen asking the students of class 2 of a private school in Khubbapur village under Mansurpur police station area to hit the hapless child. | Photo Credit: X Screengrab

A first information report (FIR) was registered on Saturday against Tripta Tyagi, a private school teacher who allegedly asked students to hit their seven-year-old Muslim classmate at Khubbapur village in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. In a video that has gone viral, Ms. Tyagi can be seen telling students lining up to hit their crying classmate to hit him harder, while referring pejoratively to his faith.

The case has been registered at the Mansurpur police station in the district as a non-cognisable report under Sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code, effectively meaning that the police cannot arrest the accused without a warrant and need court approval for an investigation. The case was registered based on a complaint by the child’s father, who had earlier called for a mutual settlement.

The Hindu reached out to Som Prakash Singh, the investigating officer of the case, but did not receive any response.

‘Hit harder’

In the viral video, the teacher can be heard telling one of the students, “Aey kya tum maar rahe ho iske, jor se maaro naa… Chalo, aur kiska number hai? (What are you doing, hit harder... who is next?)”. As the distressed child cries after getting continuously slapped in the face, she can be heard directing other students to hit him on the body as “his face is going red”. Speaking to another adult who is not visible in the video, Ms. Tyagi can also be heard referring pejoratively to “all these Muslim children”.

Following the viral video, the teacher defended herself, claiming that the video had been tampered with. She denied any communal angle to the incident and alleged that the boy was being punished for not doing his homework, adding that as she was handicapped, she was forced to ask the students to punish their classmate on her behalf.

‘Show video at G-20’

The incident triggered mass outrage on social media, with Opposition leaders targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for creating an atmosphere of hate in the country.

The Leader of Opposition in the U.P. Assembly and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav asked the ruling BJP government to show the viral video from Muzaffarnagar at the G-20 summit to justify its hate agenda.

“In a viral video from Muzaffarnagar, a teacher is seen getting a minority child thrashed by other children. In this, she is guilty of a double crime because she is beating, and making other children violent. The BJP government should show this video in the G-20 meeting to prove how its hate agenda is correct,” Mr. Yadav posted on X (formerly Twitter), adding that such a person is a blot on the teaching profession.

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