Over a dozen of schools in Mewat, Haryana were abruptly shut down on Friday after students’ parents came rushing to take their children back home. The sudden step taken by parents was a result of a rumour that the children were being sterilized.
As the children were being administered pills and supplements for deworming and meeting the nutrition deficiency, rumour spread that the kids were being drugged to make them impotent to check the Muslim population growth.
The source of the rumour is not known yet. A video that warns people about the birth-control method in the Muslim-dominated regions is suspected to cause the havoc.
The rumour reportedly started in Firozpur Jhirka town before noon. It is 80 km away from Mewat. A woman in Pathkori village, near Firozpur Jhirka received a phone call from her husband telling her about the video clip and the rumoured conspiracy. The video warned the Muslim population to be wary of any sterilization drive.
The woman hurried to the government high school at Pathkhori village to get her son back. She furthered this news to her relatives and neighbours.
"The woman rushed to the government high school at Pathkhori village and brought her son back. She also told her relatives, neighbours and other villagers about the video and the alleged conspiracy ,"said Mohammed Shahid, a resident of Pathkhori, whose daughter also studies at the same school.
Soon the news spread to the nearby villages of Gangwani, Shahzadpur, Hasanpur, Pinganwa, Bazidpur, Nangal Shahpur, Nagina and Punahana. As a result, hundreds of concerned parents rushed to the schools and forced the schools to suspend the classes. The parents were panicky beyond any explanation, media reports said.
Soon the news reached the Deputy Comissioner Maniram Sharma. The officials are saying that they handled the matter immediately to cease the rumour mill. The fitness programme will continue from Monday without any hurdle.
The Education department officials met the Panchayat leaders to assure them the programme has been launched for the deworming the children and giving them the iron and folic acid supplements. They also urged the parents and Panchayat leaders to cooperate with the programme.
SP Kuldeep Singh confirmed that there was no official complaint for the video that has let out the rumour.