Muzaffarnagar Muslim kid’s father rules out communal angle

Victim’s father demands strict punishment for the errant teacher

MUZAFFARNAGAR | Updated: 29 August, 2023 5:45 pm IST
Father of the victim spoke to The New Indian

MUZAFFARNAGAR: Even as India seethes with anger over a viral video of a teacher talking pejoratively about “Mohammdan children” and instructing students to hit a Muslim child “hard” in UP’s Muzaffarnagar, his father has insisted that the inhumane act should be seen through the “prism of Hindu-Muslim”.

“There is no Hindu-Muslim angle to this matter. And I would request the media to refrain from construing it as such,” he told The New Indian in an exclusive interview at his residence in Khubbapur village.

“But she should get punished for inflicting such pain to my child.”

His eyes wells up and his voice chokes as he recounts the horrific punishment given by Tripta Tyagi, the teacher who runs a private school, to the seven-year-old student of upper kindergarten (UKG).

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In the viral video, which was recorded by the victim’s elder cousin, around 50 students can be seen slapping the boy in the face as she encourages them to hit “hard”. The kid was punished for failing to memorize the multiplication table.

The New Indian also spoke with many of the victim’s classmates. “When his face turned because of continuous slapping, she asked the children to slap him on the waist,” one of them said.

Many in the village said that it was not a one-off incident. “After watching the video of the shocking incident, one of my nephews – who studied at the school in the past – told me that he went through a similar ordeal,” the father claimed.

He said that the nephew – who is the victim’s classmate – had complained about such practices in the past but family members did not pay heed since there was no visual proof. “We thought that she, as a teacher, must have scolded him or punished him to get him on the right path – which is normal,” he continued.

Many children said that acts of corporal punishment like pulling ears and beating are a regular affair at the school, which is the only educational institute for students’ of classes upto class 5th in the village.

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District police have also ruled out any communal angle and registered a case under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) against Tyagi, who has been teaching children at the village for the past 35 years.

However, many villagers The New Indian interacted with protested the FIR against her, arguing that the matter should be put to an end since Tyagi has already apologized for her behavior.

As pressure mounted and public condemnation grew, she released a video statement a few days back, stating, “Galti to hui hai (I did commit a mistake).”

Surrounded by fellow villagers near his ancestral home in the middle of the village near an old temple, Tyagi’s son – a beard sporting man in his 30s – laments media trail and tries to shoo away media persons. “The should have ended the day she visited his (the victim’s residence) and tendered an apology,” he said — a claim trashed by the boy’s father.

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