Opposition parties on Saturday alleged that the BJP's "politics of hatred" was responsible for the Uttar Pradesh incident where a teacher allegedly made communal remarks and ordered students to slap a Muslim classmate for not doing his homework.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the manner in which the teacher made other children hit the child "due to religious discrimination is a disturbing result of the hate-filled politics of the BJP-RSS".
"Such incidents tarnish our global image. This is against the Constitution," Kharge said on X in a post in Hindi.
A video showing the incident involving school teacher, Tripta Tyagi, and the Class 2 boy in Muzaffarnagar has gone viral on social media eliciting strong words from several political parties.
Muzaffarnagar Police on Saturday booked the teacher while the school was also served a notice by the state education department.
Kharge termed the incident a result of the "divisive thinking of the ruling party" and cited another incident where an RPF jawan gunned down four people "in the name of religion."
A Railway Protection Force (RPF) jawan had on July 31 shot dead four people on board a train near Palghar railway station in Maharashtra.
TMC leader Derek O'Brien asked why the teacher has been booked "under weak Sections 505 and 506".
"They have charged the Neha Public School teacher with 'mischief'. What's going on," he asked in a video message posted on X.
"Mr Modi and Mr Shah are managers of hate factories set up across the country," he alleged.
Samajwadi Party alleged that it was the "politics of hate" of BJP and RSS that has led to such incidents. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in a post demanded the teacher be sacked immediately and called her a "blot on teacher society."
BJP spokesperson Harishchandra Srivastava termed Yadav's post on X a political agenda.
"The tweet made by Akhilesh Yadav regarding the Muzaffarnagar school incident is superficial politics and a disgusting political agenda to create disharmony in the society.
"We all in our student life have been punished by the teacher in school for not remembering tables, not correcting maths questions or not having good writing, and this is a natural process of improving discipline and talent in students," he said.
Rashtriya Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary spoke to Irshad, the father of the victim, and assured him of justice.
Pilibhit BJP MP Varun Gandhi in a post on X said the incident was shameful.
"The feeling of hatred towards a child in the temple of knowledge has made the whole country hang its head in shame. A teacher is a gardener who not only builds a personality but also a nation by putting fertiliser in the form of knowledge in the primary rites.
"So the expectations from a teacher are high beyond dirty politics. It is a question of the future of the country," he said.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said on X, "Indian Muslims are facing the same persecution & discrimination as Jews faced in the 1930s, will it lead to Kristallnacht? Hope not."
He also spoke to the father of the child and said the family did not eat food for two days.
Owaisi also said the video from Muzaffarnagar "is a product of the last 9 years".
"The message being drilled into the minds of little children is that one can beat up and humiliate a Muslim without any repercussions.
"The father of the child has withdrawn his kid from school and given in writing that he doesn't want to pursue the matter because he knows he won't get justice and instead it might vitiate the atmosphere.
"Who are these people who will vitiate the atmosphere over a father seeking justice for his kid? It is an indictment of Yogi Adityanath's rule that people have no faith in due process. It is more likely that the teacher will get some govt award rather than being punished," he said, adding,"Yogi Adityanath what happened to bulldozers and 'thok do'".
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged on X, "Last night Govt of India issued emergency orders to Twitter to block video of the child being slapped upon the insistence of his teacher.
"This morning it issued additional orders to block more URLs and hashtags about arresting the teacher," she claimed.
She said gagging the Internet is not the solution - "introspect on how a teacher is so vile and full of bigotry that she singles out a boy for his religion and gets his own classmates to slap him".
Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that a place like a school is being turned into a "marketplace of hatred."
"This is the same kerosene spread by the BJP which has set every corner of India on fire. Children are the future of India - do not hate them, we all have to together teach love," he had said on X.
Police booked Tyagi on the complaint of the boy's family, under IPC sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) -- both non-cognizable offences. Such offences are bailable and do not lead to immediate arrest, and require a warrant.
In her defence, Tyagi has said that the video has been tampered with in order to stoke tensions. She claimed the video was shot by an uncle of the boy.
She said though it was wrong on her part to get a student slapped by his classmates, she was forced to do it as she is handicapped and unable to stand up and reach the student who had not done his assignment.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Muzaffarnagar Shubham Shukla said that a show cause notice has been served to the school management through the secretary of the management committee Ravinder Tyagi.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)