Uttar Pradesh teacher Tripta Tyagi has put out a video message, stressing that she had no communal motive behind asking students to slap their Muslim classmate. With folded hands, she repeated that she had “made a mistake” and sought forgiveness.
In the video message, the 60-year-old teacher and principal of Muzaffarnagar’s Neha Public School says, “I made a mistake, but there was no Hindu-Muslim motive. The children had not done their homework and my intention was to ensure that they memorise (the lessons).”
Tripta Tyagi said she was handicapped. “I could not get up, so I asked some children to slap him a couple of times so that he starts studying,” she said.
The elderly woman, who now faces a police case, alleged that her video was doctored and circulated to “create a Hindu-Muslim issue”. “I accept with folded hands that I made a mistake. But I did not have any Hindu-Muslim divide in mind. The parents of many Muslim students cannot afford the school fee. I teach them for free. I had no intention to torture Muslim children.”
Following a police complaint by the boy’s family, Tripta Tyagi faces a case of voluntarily causing hurt and intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace. Both offences are bailable and do not lead to immediate arrest.
The school has been shut for now and its students would be shifted to other schools nearby, state education department authorities have said.
The boy’s father has told NDTV that he was very upset after the incident and could not eat for a couple of days. He had also started rambling at home after the traumatic experience. The child is doing better following a medical check-up, his father has said.