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UP: Pressure on Boy’s Family to 'Compromise' in Slapping Incident As Politicians Swarm Village

Farmer Naresh Tikait met the victim’s family and told the media that he'll get the FIR registered against the teacher expunged.
Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

Muzaffarnagar: Following the video of a teacher egging on her students to hit their seven-year-old Muslim classmate going viral on social media, journalists and politicians made a beeline to the remote Khubbapur village in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar the next day. 

In the video, one Tripta Tyagi who runs the Neha Public School at her home can be seen exhorting the students to assault a child who is seen crying while different students come forward  to slap him. At one point in the video, the teacher scolded a student for not hitting him hard enough. “I have declared that all those Muslim children should be…(inaudible),” she can be heard saying in the forty-second long video.

When The Wire reached the village, its dilapidated roads were jammed with SUVs. Surrounded by large belts of sugarcane farms, Khubbapur is predominantly inhabited by people from the Tyagi caste who are both Hindus and Muslims.

Before this reporter could ask any questions about the incident, a group of Muslim villagers outside the narrow street leading to the child’s home declared that a “compromise has been reached.” Indian Express reported that pressure is mounting on the family to settle the matter and quoted a village leader warning the family to quash the FIR or face consequences.

When The Wire met Irshad, the father of the victim who we spoke to a night earlier over call, he was already being interviewed by a Youtuber who was trying to tutor Irshad to say what he wanted. When we finally got a chance to speak with him, he was surrounded by over a dozen people. “Earlier such an incident had happened but I didn’t pay attention because teachers hit students when they don’t do schoolwork,” he said. But he was stunned after watching the video.

When Irshad confronted the teacher, she allegedly threatened him. “Then I decided to cancel my child’s admission and have stopped sending him to the school,” he reiterated his stance. 

After the video went viral, the teacher is said to have ‘apologised’ to Irshad and promised that such an incident won’t be repeated. Irshad reportedly agreed to not take the matter any further. 

However, a day later the right-wing ran hashtags in her support and the teacher told the press that she’s not ashamed of what happened. Irshad, on the other hand, said that the matter should not be looked at with a communal lens and the teacher was talking about “Mohammedan mothers taking their children to their homes and that affects their education.” 

While speaking to The Wire, he demanded justice and stressed on legal action but in some other reports he’s also said that wants to end the matter. This was also the larger focus of influential leaders and politicians meeting the family who kept stressing on making “a compromise” and maintaining the peace and harmony between the two communities. 

Farmer Naresh Tikait met the victim’s family and told the media that he’ll get the FIR expunged. “Faisla ho gaya gaya hai…FIR hatwa denge…Maari itni bhi na chale kya iss zile mein (It has been decided that the FIR will be taken back. I hold that much influence in the area),” he said, adding that both parties are “satisfied” with the decision. 

Meanwhile, Shrikant Tyagi, the former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who had hit the headlines for abusing a woman at a gated society in Noida, came to meet the family and the teacher. He said that the brotherhood between Tyagis (Muslims and Hindus) who are from the same family is being harmed by the BJP and RSS because of the 2024 elections.” On his Facebook page, he posted pictures with both sides and appealed that the matter should be settled amicably and the child should continue his education in the same school.

When a source (another minor) said that he was also assaulted by the teacher in a similar manner and that the teacher only targets Muslim students, Irshad’s neighbour Rizwan immediately refuted him and said that the teacher should not have done this but all children get beaten up at schools. He declined any communal angle. 

The Wire tried to contact Tripta Tyagi but the crowd of mostly Tyagis outside her house said that we can’t meet her since “she is not at home”. The crowd said that a small matter was blown out of proportion by the media. 

One Rahul Tyagi (38), a sugarcane farmer, said that city people don’t understand village lingo and it’s a common practice to refer to people with their caste names. “This is done out of love,” a bystander added. 

“The village people are simple; they call brahmins as brahmins and Nai as Nai. This is theth (local) language,” said Rahul. He emphasised that the teacher calling a student by his caste or religion isn’t a big deal. “This is how people talk in the whole country. Here, we’d still call people as Chowdhury sahab and Yadav ji but if we go to Rajasthan, there, they will simply use the caste. This happens everywhere but it got such traction. They have no prior rivalry. Everyone is Tyagi”, he said.


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