Case filed against Kerala school with links to IS men for teaching hate

Ramesh Babu, Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Police on Saturday filed a case against Peace Educational

Foundation that runs a chain of schools in Kerala and neighbouring states for allegedly including objectionable study material in school curriculum aimed at disrupting communal harmony.The educational group was under scanner after it came to light that some of the 21 missing persons from the state who were believed to have joined the Islamic State worked in schools run by the foundation. The case has been filed under Section 153 (A) of the IPC for promoting enmity between different groups, religion or race.
Police had raided the Peace International School in Ernakulam after they found that one of the missing persons Merin had taken class there. Similarly, Yasmin Ahmed who was arrested from Delhi airport two months ago before slipping out of the country worked as an English teacher with the Peace International School in Kotakkal in Malappuram district for two years. Yasmin was motivated by Abdul Rashid who was also missing along with his wife. Rashid was the public relations officer of the group until he vanished.
Later, the police had asked the education department to examine the syllabus of the school group. The department found that some of the study material/lessons were objectionable, lauding a single religion and putting others in bad light. Though the schools were affiliated with the CBSE they never followed its curriculum, it found.Founded in 2006 by a preacher MM Akbar, and run by Niche Group, an independent religious body aiming to propagate Islam, Peace International runs 10 schools in Kerala and one each in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Akbar is locally known as Kerala’s Zakir Naik, the Mumbai-based Islamic evangelist who is in the eye of storm. Faced with its links to those who disappeared, the school is battling to save its reputation and stay clear of trouble. It has disowned Rashid and others but many parents have already applied for transfer certificates for their children.
Besides Akbar the police are likely to question three businessmen who invested heavily in the group. However the school group denied any involvement with the missing and insisted that it was part of a “vilification campaign aimed to tarnish a reputed educational institution”.
Last week the National Investigation Agency had busted a Kerala module of IS and arrested six persons from north Kerala and four others from Tamil Nadu. A radical outfit, Popular Front of India, is also under watch list as two of the arrested were active workers of PFI.