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Gujarat school denies religious discrimination against Muslim girl who topped Class X

The School Management of Shree KT Patel Smriti Vidyalaya in Gujarat’s Mehsana district has denied allegations of not honouring their Class X topper Arnaz Banu. According to the girl’s father, Arnaz Banu reached her school located in Lunwa village of Mehsana district, Gujarat on August 15 to attend the felicitation ceremony of class toppers. She was the topper in her class securing 87% marks.

To her dismay, she found that there was no prize for her. Instead, it was given to the student who stood second. Speaking to the media, Arnaz Banu’s father, Sanwar Khan said, “As farmers, our family has been living here for generations without facing any kind of discrimination, but now my daughter has been deliberately ignored for the award she deserves.”

Initial reports suggest that the Principal of the school, Bipin Patel alleged that Arnaz was absent on August 15, while her father avers that she was present and can be verified through CC TV footage. The news about this incident went viral on social media with many citing it as another case of religious discrimination against Muslims in India.

Other media reports say it is wrong to bring a religious angle to the case. It was an official impromptu programme organised by some teachers in which only the students who took admission to the same school after Class X were felicitated. As Arnaz joined some other junior college, she was not invited. She will be officially felicitated on January 26 along with all students in an official programme.


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