ENSURING JUSTICE FOR SH IKRAM AJMERI, PRINCIPAL, GOVERNMENT SCHOOL, PRATAPGARH, RAJASTHAN

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Sh. Mohammed Ikram Ajmeri, who was until  recently Principal & Designated Panchayat Elementary Education Officer, Government Higher Secondary School, Gram Panchayat Kuni, Department of Secondary Education, Pratapgarh Rajasthan was detained without any charge, kept in Jail for 46 days on baseless FIR by a person of communal mindset, harassed and denied bail, suspended and was ordered to be Awaiting Posting Order (APO) at  far off district Bikaner Rajasthan for serving diligently and according to the constitutional values. This petition appeals to all the concerned citizens to support Sh Ajmeri in his fight against communalism by signing this petition. 

Sh Ajmeri took charge as a Principal of Government Higher Secondary School, Gram Panchayat Kuni, District Pratapgarh, Rajasthan in May, 2018 after working for 23 years. During his tenure at Gram Panchayat Kuni, he received complaints about encroachment on sports ground of four schools of the Kuni Panchayat in his jurisdiction. Being a sensitive matter, he raised this issue in the School Development and Management Committee which in-turn passed a resolution on 26th January 2019 and sent a complaint regarding encroachment to district education and administrative officials including District Collector, seeking boundary demarcation and vacation of the encroachments.

A prayer meeting was organized by Sh Ajmeri on the unfortunate and tragic event of Pulwama terrorist attack on 15th February to offer condolence to the relatives of the martyrs of the attack. In his speech, Sh Ajmeri, representing the school, offered all kind of support to the family of the martyrs. While some of the teachers wanted to use students for politicizing Pulwama attack, Sh Ajmeri stopped them from doing so citing the norms of the school.

On the next day morning, while he was in the school, Sh Ajmeri was detained by the local police and taken to local police station on the pretext of enquiry without any warrant. An FIR against him with communal motives was filed by Sh Chandrapal Singh s/o Dhule Singh seven hours after he was detained. The FIR accused him of insulting the Army, not allowing the students to mark tilak on forehead or tie sacred thread (lachha) on their hand and not allowing students to sing Vande Mataram. Sh Chandrapal Singh was not even present during the prayer assembly and condolence meeting about which he filed a complaint. He had earlier also tried to implicate Sh Ajmeri but his complaint was found baseless.

Sh Ajmeri spent the night of 6th February in Jail and tried to hire a lawyer to apply for bail but the lawyers in the district court (except one) boycotted Sh Ajmeri’s case. The circumstances worsened as the lawyers went on strike for some other reason and Sh. Ajmeri had to file the bail petition from the Jail itself to ACJM court. The application, however, was summarily rejected. On resumption of the court after lawyers’ strike on 25th February, his lawyer, Sh Ajeya Saxena filed bail petition in District Court. On the day of hearing, 26th February, around 50 lawyers, including Public Prosecutor and Deputy Public Prosecutor (affiliated to RSS activities and organisations) projecting as party to the complainant entered the courtroom and misbehaved with Sh Saxena. During the hearing, the group of lawyers also continued to abuse Sh Ajmeri calling him a traitor, relative of Daood Ibrahim and an agent of ISI and asking the Honorable District Judge to order inquiry into call details of Sh Ajmeri in order to establish this. The group also continued to abuse Sh Saxena during the hearing. The hearing was conducted in this vicious and hateful environment and on the next day, i.e.  on 27th February, the bail application was rejected.

The news of rejection of bail application was circulated by the Public Prosecutor including fake news of written apology by Sh Ajmeri on the alleged incident, in various newspapers illegally using the email- ID of District Court-Pratapgarh.

After being in jail for 46 days, Sh Ajmeri was finally granted bail by the High Court, Jodhpur. During his period in Jail, Sh Ajmeri’s health deteriorated and he had to be admitted to the Government Hospital in Udaipur. He was suspended from the position of Panchayat Elementary Education Officer and Principal of Government Higher Secondary School Kuni. He was also made APO to his Departmental Quarter at Bikaner from Pratapgarh.

There is no doubt that Sh Ikram Ajmeri, an honest and committed public servant who consistently demonstrated allegiance to the constitutional values and equality through his impeccable work, has been at the receiving end of the hate politics. His equal and respectable behaviour towards students and their parents coming from labour, farmers, Dalits, Tribals and minorities backgrounds has not gone down well with the upper caste community and people of feudal mindset in the locality and as a result he has been implicated in a false case smelling of caste based and communal hatred.

Given the vicious atmosphere in which Sh Ajmeri will now have to fight the case, with communal and belligerent lawyers’ group, biased local media and politicization of the case, delivery of justice seems improbable to him. We request the Chief Minister of Rajasthan to order a CBI/ CID investigation in this case, reinstate him and punish the perpetrators of hate and communal violence. This is an appeal to all the concerned citizens to support Sh Ajmeri in his fight by signing this petition.