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Private school in Allahabad bans National Anthem; Principal and seven other teachers resign
A private school in UP's Allahabad district has allegedly banned singing of the national anthem, Vande Mataram or Saraswati Vandana during the Independence Day celebrations, calling them 'Un-Islamic'.

The administrator of the school has been arrested under sedation case. Protesting against the decision, the Principal and seven other teachers of the same school had  resigned on Friday. BJP's Allahabad unit has demanded a strict action against the school management.

Zia-Ul Haq, the manager of the MA Convent School, in Sadiyabad locality of Allahabad district, said that the decision of banning the national anthem was taken after objection from some Muslim parents.

According to him, 'Bharat Bhagya Vidhata'- the line in National Anthem, is against Islam. He said, "In the national anthem, the country has been described as being bigger and more important than mazhab (religion) and khuda (god), which is unacceptable for any true Muslim...Even the Supreme Court has said that you cannot force anyone to do anything which is against their religion," reported The Indian Express.

Haq also said that this was not the first time the school has banned National Anthem, Vande Mataram and Saraswati Vandana, but the practice is continuing ever since the school was set up. According to him, words'Bharat Bhagya Vidhata' - which he interpreted as 'India is the lord of its people', is Un-Islamic as only 'Allah is the lord of its people'.

Andre Vamsi, a senior district official, said that Haq's statements have caused tension in the area and a police complaint has been filed against him.

Principal of the school, Ritu Tripathi, who resigned after the decision of banning national anthem, said, "The school has 200 Hindu students while the remaining 130 are Muslims. How can he ban the national anthem and Vande Mataram citing religious reasons. I left the school as soon as I heard about this. Seven more teachers also left as this is not acceptable at all."

She added, "Most of us have not been working here for a very long time. We were shocked to learn that the school has never allowed the singing of national anthem in the last 12 years....We were asked to fall in line or leave, so we chose a decision based on our conscience."

Meanwhile, Allahabad District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar has said that a strict action would be taken against the school management.

"I am going to take strict action against the school management. We will give them an opportunity to be heard. I am meeting the manager in the evening and will decide the next course of action," said Kumar.

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