On June 26, a video gained significant traction on social media, capturing a scene at a coaching centre in Kota, Rajasthan. In the footage, Hindu students could be heard chanting fervent slogans like “Jai Shri Ram” and “Vande Mataram,” while Muslim students were engaged in prayer. The video was purportedly associated with the renowned Allen Institute in Kota.
Following the circulation of the video on social media, the Kota Police said that the incident actually occurred in 2020, rather than on June 26, 2023.
“This video is of 2020, no such activity has happened yet, at that time effective action was taken by the concerned organization in acid, the police constantly monitors such developments. The law and order situation is normal,” the Kota Police said.
The management of the Institute, initially, denied the occurrence of any such event within their coaching centre.
“Regarding the alleged incident on the campus, we are not aware of any such occurrence. We currently have no information about it,” an official at the coaching institute told The Observer Post.
The Observer Post reached out to several students at Allen, Kota, who countered the management’s version and said that the incident indeed transpired on June 23, specifically during the Asr prayers (afternoon prayers).
A Muslim student while talking to The Observer Post said that they have been offering prayers at the institute for a long time now. He said that some Hindu students had previously engaged in chanting slogans during these prayer sessions.
“On the 23rd, while we were offering Asr prayers on the fourth floor of the building, a significant number of Hindu students started shouting slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Vande Mataram.’ Unfortunately, they proceeded to harass us afterwards,” the student said.
“The management and the security guards took action by deleting the videos from the students’ phones. We have been instructed not to offer prayers within the institute for a few days,” he said.
The student further stated that they took the matter to the institute’s principal and expressed their concerns. According to the student, the principal “assured” them that appropriate action would be taken to address the issue.
“We have been designated a specific area within the institute for prayer, and I fail to comprehend why they have an issue with it,” he added.
Another student said that while they were offering the Asr prayers on June 23rd, several Hindu students approached them and commenced chanting slogans in a loud manner.
“Despite their actions, we chose not to respond. I, too, was in the midst of my prayers,” the student said.
He said that such slogans are frequently raised within the institute, even when Muslim teachers are present in the classroom.
“They do these things, and it’s difficult for us to comprehend their motives. It appears that they aim to demonstrate their dominance,” he said.
Upon conducting further investigation, The Observer Post found that the video was not from 2020 as claimed.
The presence of a banner on the walls of the coaching centre, displaying Tanishka as the All India Rank 1 holder in the NEET examinations, served as a significant clue. It was discovered that Tanishka, a resident of Rajasthan, had achieved this remarkable rank in 2022.
Certainly, it is evident that the presence of a poster featuring the image of a NEET (UG) 2022 topper within the video contradicts the claim that the footage is from 2020. The existence of such a poster clearly indicates that the video must have been recorded at a later date, supporting the notion that the incident did not occur in 2020 as initially suggested.
Furthermore, multiple recent articles have surfaced regarding this incident. Several of these articles quote the senior vice-president of the Allen Institute, C R Chaudhary, acknowledging the occurrence of the incident.
Chaudhary told the media that the incident did occur at the centre after the floor attendant had left. However, he emphasized that the matter should not be regarded as a serious issue, and the primary purpose of the institute is focused on teaching and learning.
CR Choudhary, in a video statement, confirmed the same.
After Meer Faisal and other journalists shared the tweet and The Observer Post reported the incident, a number of online portals and right-wing activists launched a campaign to discredit the news, claiming it to be fake. This campaign resulted in targeted harassment and threats being directed towards journalist Meer Faisal, who had shared the video.