Kolkata: Nine months after he was beaten for training students to sing the national anthem, Kazi Masum Akhtar, who teaches at Talpukur Ara High Madarsa in Metiabruz area of south-west Kolkata, is still awaiting justice.
On March 26, 2015, Akhtar was brutally attacked in his school by some hardliners from the neighbouring area over allegations that he was hurting religious intentions of the Muslim community.
"I`m paying the price of being a progressive patriotic and a forward thinking citizen of our country. All I did was try to introduce the national anthem in my school and attempted to stop the early marriage of girl students in my school," Akhtar told ANI.
Many of the radical Muslim clerics who attacked Akhtar were rooting for the ISIS, New Indian Express quoted sources as saying.
The maulvis had dubbed the national anthem “sacrilege” and a “Hindutva song” and also issued a fatwa against Akhtar.
Talking to ANI, the teacher said that he was faithful to his religion but had wanted to protect the children in his school against radical thinking.
"There are allegations against me that I don`t follow proper rituals or wear the skull cap, but I`m a devoted Muslim and I believe in Islam and Prophet Mohammad. There are some people, who with the help of the management committee have vested interests from the school and I want to protect my school from these black hands," Akhtar said.
The teacher was brutally injured and had his head fractured in the assault, following which he was banned from the precincts of the school.
"Since the attack I have been unable to attend school. I made several requests to the Police to provide me protection so that I can teach again but the Commissioner told me that I will be assaulted again even with proper protection," Akhtar said.
So far, Akhtar has appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Governor and the chairman of State Minorities Commission six times, but to no avail.
"I am restless and frustrated. I have told the government to help me return to my school because I want to teach. If I`m given any office work then I`ll be sitting idle which is not right," he said.
Akhar added that he had met a local MLA in a bid for help but had to face disappointment after she told him that her `political career` will be in jeopardy if she intervened.
Meanwhile, a fatwa has reportedly been issued against him which prevents him from entering the school unless he wore the traditional Muslim attire.
(With ANI inputs)