Bahujan Samaj Party leader Yakub Qureshi’s daughter was among around a dozen people booked on Tuesday for allegedly barging into a school in Meerut and assaulting students with sticks and a whip there a day earlier. Najma and others also allegedly roughed up school authorities when they tried to intervene. She was apparently livid as the students had complained about her daughter having bunked class.
The incident took place at Meerut Public School for Girls, police said. “An FIR under IPC (Indian Penal code) Sections 147, 148 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) has been registered after complaints were received from the school and some students’ parents. This has been registered against… mother (Najma) and other persons,” said station house officer (Sadar) Pankaj Pant.
Businessman Mohammad Yusuf alleged that his 13-year-old daughter was taking her English examination around 7.30 am on Monday when around eight to 10 men and women, including Najma, thrashed her along with other students. “She collapsed in the school. She is still very scared and has not gone to school. I will take her to school tomorrow or maybe change her school if she wants,” Yusuf said.
A police officer said that parents of the students protested outside the school in Meerut Cantonment area, asking the management to shut the institute if it cannot guarantee safety of students and teachers. They surrounded the school chairman, Tarachand Shastri, and forced him to admit to the assault and file a case.
In his complaint, Shastri said that the attack had left the students terrified. He accused Najma of forcefully entering the school premises. “They barged into classrooms and beat students who were taking exams with sticks and a whip. When school authorities tried to intervene, they were roughed up and abuses were hurled at them,” he said in the complaint.
Qureshi denied the accusation and said it was aimed at maligning his image. “My granddaughter studies in the school. The media and BJP are trying to create differences… This incident is being highlighted unnecessarily,’’ he said.
“I am not saying that this would not have happened. Maybe, some children would have gotten slapped but anyone can go to the school and claim that they were favouring my granddaughter. We are staying quiet because we do not want to disturb harmony in the area,” he said.