A group of teachers affiliated with state-run madrasas were driven out of a private guest house in Kolkata’s Salt Lake area on Monday. Following the incident, three employees of the guest house were arrested on charges of resorting to discrimination on religious grounds against the teachers.
The teachers had reportedly come from Malda district to attend a meeting of The West Bengal Education Department at its headquarters in the state capital. Eight of them are headmasters at various madrasas in Malda.
Three employees of the CL 164 guest house have been arrested on the charge of discrimination against guests on religious grounds, PTI quoted a senior officer of the Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate as saying.
Shikshak Oikya Mukto Manch, a state umbrella Madrasa organisation, state president Moidul Islam claimed, “Ten Madrasa teachers had come from Malda for a meeting in Bikash Bhawan. We had booked a guest house in Salt Lake CL block. They were made to wait for three hours and then denied accommodation due to objection by the locals on religious ground. This is unacceptable. We have informed the Bidhannagar police and the state administration.” The organization has also filed a separate police complaint.
The teachers lodged a police complaint saying they were refused room because of their religion. The guest house owner denied the charge, saying it was just a misunderstanding.
“We were then taken to a guest house in the CL block and were allotted three rooms there. But at around 11 am we were suddenly asked to leave immediately. But the guest house authorities did not give us any reason,” one of the teachers, Mohammad Obaidur Rahaman told media persons.
Denying the allegation, the guest house authorities said that there was no religious discrimination against the teachers. The teachers were forced to take shelter under the East-West Metro viaduct (the ground below the overhead tracks) near Bikash Bhavan amid the morning shower and left the city directly after the meeting.