Allahabad: In a shocking incident, a school here has refused to allow recital of the national anthem by students and staff members on Independence Day.
The manager of MA Convent School based in Baghara locality, Zia-ul Haq, told teachers that singing of the national anthem could not be allowed as the phrase 'Bharat Bhagya Vidhata' in its first stanza went against the tenets of Islam.
The manager said that if they were not in agreement with this 'policy' of the school, they could leave.
"Most of us have been working here for not a very long time. We were shocked to learn from the management that the school has never allowed the singing of national anthem in the last 12 years. Since we had been asked to fall in line or leave, we chose a decision based on our conscience," Ritu Tripathi, who was the principal, said.
She said, "Seven of my colleagues have put in their papers in protest against this attitude of the school management".
Haq, on his part, stuck to his guns asserting "only Allah can be the Bhagya Vidhata, which means the one who decides our destiny. How can we call Bharat our Bhagya Vidhata?"
The school has around 300 students.
The authorities said that the school was not recognised by the education department.
The Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Allahabad, Jaikaran Yadav, said, "We are surprised to learn that the school is still running. It is not duly recognised by the Basic Shiksha department and we had sent its management a notice to close the institution about a week ago"
Meanwhile, the manager of the school was taken into custody late in the evening on Sunday following a complaint lodged by education department officials at the Colonelganj police station of the city.
Additional SP (city) Rajesh Yadav said, "The complainants had alleged that the school manager Zia-ul Haq by his refusal to allow singing of the national anthem and statements issued before the media defending his action has caused breach of peace and tension in the area," as per PTI.
He said complainants had also sought legal action against Haq for running the school "without obtaining permission" from authorities concerned and not closing it down despite issuing of a notice recently.
Reacting to the news, BJP leader Shrikant Sharma slammed the school management for the ban.
(With Agency inputs)