Goa: School Allegedly Makes Students Perform Religious Rituals On Mosque Visit

In a fresh controversy, a private school principal in Goa has been suspended following allegations of forcing students to perform prayers of ‘another’ religion. The suspension came into place after a right wing outfit lodged a police complaint alleging that the school took some students of Class 11 to a mosque for a workshop where the students were made to perform religious rituals there. A member of the school’s higher secondary management informed about the principal’s suspension. Meanwhile, the state education department has sought explanation from the school management into the allegations, a senior official of the state education department said. 

A complaint was lodged by some affiliates of the Visha Hindu Parishad (VHP) with the Vasco police against the principal of the Vasco Town located school. The complaint was filed for allegedly “supporting anti-national activities”, an official was reported as saying by PTI. 

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The complaint mentioned that the school organised workshops on Saturday following an invitation from the banned PFI (Popular Front of India) affiliated organisation, and the students of the schools were allegedly compelled to perform religious rituals there. 

Following the incident, the school principal Shankar Gaonkar has been replaced after suspension, a senior member of the school was reported as saying. The school management has also apologized to members of the VHP who visited the school on Monday for further complaints about the Saturday incident. Goa Education Director Shailesh Zingde was further reported as saying to reporters that the department has sought a detailed explanation from the school on the incident. 

Notably, in a similar incident in April this year, parents in hathras alleged that a private school forced its students to offer Namaz. While the school  management denied the allegations and termed them as part of a conspiracy, the school principal was suspended by the authorities, along with two other teachers. 

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