In a school in Kota, Rajasthan, three Muslim teachers – Firoz Khan, Mirza Mujahid, and Shabana – faced suspension following allegations of forced conversion, love jihad, and Islamic Jihadi activities by the Hindutva group 'Sarv Hindu Samaj.' However, Hindu students from the same school, Khajuri village, protested the suspension, marching several kilometers to the SDM office in Sangod town.

The Hindu students demanded the reinstatement of the suspended Muslim teachers, denouncing the accusations and urging action against those who made false claims. During the protest, students were emotional, some even admitting they were pressured to make false allegations against the teachers.

A 10th-grade student, under the alias Naveen, stated that he was not forced to offer namaz but was coerced into making false accusations against the Muslim teachers. He expressed regret, emphasizing the positive influence the teachers had on his life.

In a video that is now available on social media platforms, he says, “They were continuously telling me that you are a Hindu and told me things to say in the interview. I got trapped in their words and committed a mistake I should have never done. These are ours, and how can I lie against them? What I am today is because of them.”

The 15 Hindu teachers at the school wrote to the district education department, refuting claims of forced conversion, love jihad, and namaz activities by the suspended teachers. The school's staff, management committee, and the village sarpanch all denied knowledge of such activities.

The controversy appears linked to a love marriage between a local Hindu woman and a Muslim man. However, residents and police officials noted that the incident involved adults, and the woman stated she married of her free will.

Local police officials also said forced religious conversion or ‘love jihad’ activities have never been reported in the area or the school. They cited the incident of a Hindu woman reported missing on Feb 5, being traced on Feb 5 and saying she married a Muslim man out of her free will. “The girl was an adult and said she married as per her will,” said DSP Rajulal Meena.

I never witnessed any such activities or heard of students or parents complaining against the three teachers about conversion or love jihad. I have been working at this school since 2021,” said school principal Kamlesh Bairwa

The School Management and Development Committee (SMDC) president, Lokesh Gochar, dismissed the allegations as rumors, attributing them to a human error in 2019 when a Hindu girl was mistakenly listed as Muslim in admission forms.

“These are all rumours and baseless allegations against the three Muslim teachers. I am a frequent visitor to the school as my agriculture land adjoins it, and I never heard of or seen any such activities.” Gochar said.

Sarpanch Sushila Kanwar confirmed that no conversion activities were reported at the school.

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Mumbai (PTI): BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Friday rejected claims that the Board has approached any former Australian cricketer to be India's next head coach and hinted that Rahul Dravid's successor could be an Indian by saying that he should have a "deep understanding" of the game's structure in the country.

While Dravid has reportedly told the board that he is not interested in a third stint, former Australian players like Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer have claimed that they have turned down approaches for the high-profile position.

"Neither I nor the BCCI have approached any former Australian cricketer with a coaching offer. The reports circulating in certain media sections are completely incorrect," Shah said in a statement.

Both Ponting and Langer are involved in the Indian Premier League as the head coaches of Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants respectively. World Cup-winning former batting star Gautam Gambhir, who is currently mentoring Kolkata Knight Riders, is speculated to be among the top contenders for the post right now.

"Finding the right coach for our national team is a meticulous and thorough process. We are focused on identifying individuals who possess a deep understanding of the Indian cricket structure and have risen through the ranks," Shah said.

The BCCI secretary also said that having in-depth knowledge of Indian domestic cricket will be one of the important criteria for appointing the next coach. He said the understanding would be crucial to "truly elevate Team India to the next level."

Ponting had claimed on Thursday that he was approached to take over the role but said that he declined as it did not fit with his "lifestyle" right now.

Ponting told ICC review, "I've seen a lot of reports about it. Normally these things pop up on social media before you even know about them, but there were a few little one-on-one conversations during the IPL, just to get a level of interest from me as to whether I would do it."

"I'd love to be a senior coach of a national team, but with the other things that I have in my life and wanting to have a bit of time at home…everyone knows if you take a job working with the Indian team you can't be involved in an IPL team, so it would take that out of it as well," he said.

Taking up the job of coaching India also implies spending 10-11 months away from home but Ponting said his family seemed ready for it.

"...I had a whisper to my son about it, and I said, 'Dad's been offered the Indian coaching job' and he said, 'Just take it, dad, we would love to move over there for the next couple of years'" he said.

"That's how much they love being over there and the culture of cricket in India, but right now it probably doesn't exactly fit into my lifestyle," Ponting said.

Meanwhile, Langer, who had remained noncommittal about applying for India coaching role after IPL clash between LSG and Mumbai Indians, said he would "never say never" but at the same time revealed receiving crucial advice from Lucknow skipper KL Rahul.

Langer told BBS Stumped Podcast, ”It would be an amazing job. I also know that it's an all-encompassing role, and having done it for four years with the Australian team, honestly, it's exhausting. And that's the Australian job.”

"You never say never. And the pressure of doing it in India… I was talking to KL Rahul and he said, 'You know, if you think there's pressure and politics in an IPL team, multiply that by a thousand, (that is) coaching India. That was a good bit of advice, I guess,” Langer said.

"It would be an awesome job, but not for me at the moment,” he added.

Former England and current Royal Challengers Bengaluru head coach Andy Flower had also ruled himself out of the race saying he is happy being involved in franchise cricket for now.

Chennai Super Kings chief executive Kasi Viswanathan has done the same for Stephen Fleming claiming the former New Zealand captain won't be keen on taking a job which requires him to work 'nine-ten months a year'.

Shah described the position of India's head coach as the most prestigious job in international cricket, saying it demands high level of professionalism given the kind of support the national side enjoys.

"When we talk about international cricket, no role is more prestigious than that of the Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. Team India commands the largest fan base globally, enjoying support that is truly unrivalled," he said.

"Our rich history, passion for the game make this one of the most lucrative jobs in the world. The role demands a high level of professionalism as one gets to nurture some of the best cricketers in the world and an assembly line of talented cricketers to follow.

"Catering to the aspirations of a billion fans is a huge honour and the BCCI will pick the right candidate, capable of propelling Indian cricket forward," Shah added.