After a government school teacher in Kaithal, Haryana has been booked for sedition, teachers and some parents have been conducting demonstrations seeking cancellation of the FIR. The teacher, Suresh Dravid, had allegedly addressed an anti-government rally at Kaithal a few days ago for which an FIR was registered against him.
Dravid was accused of provoking other teachers and inciting the police and army personnel to revolt against the government in support of the farmers, labourers, and employees, reported Indian Express. The rally allegedly took place in front of Haryana women’s and child development minister Kamlesh Dhanda. Dravid was booked under Section 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) following a complaint by the district security agent (SA) Madan Lal. He was booked 15 days after giving the speech on September 8.
A teacher bodies along with parents of school children where Dravid has been teaching began a five-day dharna in front of Kaithal’s mini secretariat, which houses offices of district level officers, including DC and SP. A protest under the banner of Jan Shiksha Adhikar Manch, a state-level body of teachers and parents, was held on Wednesday.
Haryana Vidyalaya Adhyapak Sangh leader Satbir Singh said that if the FIR is not dropped, a big agitation will be announced in Kaithal on October 2. The teacher bodies has criticised the merger of government schools. They said the Haryana government had planned to enroll students in private schools whose family income is less than Rs 1.80 lakh. As per the teachers, this would affect government school children as most of the students’ family income is less than Rs 1.8 lakh
They have opposed the FIR calling it an attempt to suppress the voice of the people. The police, however, claimed that the sedition charge was dropped after an inquiry and now they have lodged an FIR under Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 153 (provocation) of IPC and Section 3 of Police (incitement to disaffection) Act, 1922.