Goalpur (Assam) : The headmistress of a government school at Goalpara in Assam has been arrested by the state’s police on suspicion of bringing beef into the school for lunch.
The headmistress has been identified as Dalima Nessa (56) of the Hurkachungi Middle English School in Goalpur’s Lakhipur district. On May 14, Nessa had brought beef for lunch because the school had a function that day.
Nessa was booked under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to a district police officer, the arrest was conducted after the school administration committee filed a complaint.
The committee’s complaint stated that members of the staff who were served beef by the headmistress felt “discomfort” and that the occurrence disturbed “both the religious communities.”
The headmistress is in judicial custody at present.
Although beef is not prohibited in Assam, a new law passed in 2021 prohibits cattle slaughter and sale in areas where Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs are the majority or within a five-kilometer radius of a temple or Vaishnavite monasteries.
The Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 2021, has been amended which allows police to enter an accused’s home on basis of a suspicion to inspect, investigate, and seize properties purchased in the past six years with money generated from “illegal cattle trafficking.”