Teachers’ ‘poor, lower caste’ taunts drive Muslim teen to suicide: UP cops

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Lucknow, 01 Sept: Two instructors from her school in Uttar Pradesh reportedly drove a 14-year-old girl to suicide. She was impoverished and of a lower caste, and she had questioned one of the teachers after being issued a fee receipt for a smaller amount than she had actually paid.

The incident occurred only days after a teacher in the state’s Muzaffarnagar ordered students to take turns hitting a classmate.

Ayesha Bano (alternate name) attended Azimuddin Ashraf Islamia Inter College in the Barabanki area. “My husband died of a heart attack in 2018, and our family was on the verge of starvation,” her mother explained. ?I was able to admit Ayesha and her younger sister to the school in 2022 with tremendous effort,” she added.

Ayesha paid her school fees of 1,100 on May 27, but one of her instructors, Wasfi Khatoon, handed her a receipt for a lesser amount. When Ayesha objected, the instructor allegedly informed her that, despite being impoverished and from a lower caste, she was acting as if she were equal to the upper castes.

According to police, Wasfi and a male instructor then made a point of taunting Ayesha in front of other pupils about her family’s poverty and caste. Ayesha hung herself at her home on August 4 after becoming tired of the frequent harassment. Her suicide note stated that she was motivated to commit suicide due to persistent taunting from Wasfi and the other teacher.

“I approached the police several times over the course of four to five days, but they did not register a FIR. They only did so recently, after we approached the superintendent of police,” Ayesha’s mother explained.

Following Ayesha’s suicide, the teachers apparently said that there was something wrong with her “character” that drove her to commit herself. “Based on the mother’s complaint, a FIR has been filed against the teachers for harassment and aiding suicide. We’re looking into it,” a police officer responded.

The claims against the instructors were disputed by the school’s administrator, Jamshed Ahmed, who stated, “The family had wanted to change the girls’ surname to Khan in the school records but had not submitted the documents.”

It is worth mentioning that a teacher at a private school in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, was caught on tape last week inciting students to smack a Muslim youngster. The act had aroused national anger, and a lawsuit had been launched against her.