Kashmir School Head, Who Shared Post Calling Gen Rawat ‘War Criminal’, Gets Bail: Report

Sabbah Haji
Sabbah Haji, an educator and the director of a school in Jammu and Kashmir, was Friday granted bail in relation to a case involving legal action against her after she allegedly referred to General Bipin Rawat as a “war criminal.” General Rawat, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, died in a fatal chopper crash December 8 in Tamil Nadu, along with 13 others.

A post Haji allegedly shared on social media went viral after General Rawat’s death, with many deeming the speech offensive and demanding her arrest. As indicated by screenshots, Haji reshared an Instagram post to her story that contained alleged insults directed towards General Rawat. More on the Coonoor crash here.

As reported by Bar & BenchHaji’s bail came in relation to Sections 107 and 108 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The two sections comprise action with respect to security for keeping peace and good behaviour from persons disseminating seditious matters.

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Haji is the director of Haji Public School in her native village of Breswana in Doda, Jammu and Kashmir. The not-for-profit school was established in 2009 by her family and she was central to its operations. “We felt that providing good quality education was essential to have a tangible and sustained impact in the region,” she said in an interview with SheThePeople in 2019.

A well-known figure in Kashmiri educational circles, Haji was felicitated with the J&K State Award for Social Reforms and Empowerment in 2017. As per the school website, Haji’s mother Tasneem has held position as the principal since the school was founded in 2009.

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The Haji School has reportedly distanced itself from Haji’s case, saying she acted in her individual capacity after her tenure with the school ended. Following the controversy, there were also calls on social media for the school to be shut down.

“The Haji Public School management would like to clarify that a recent distasteful media post during the rounds has nothing to do with the school… Ms Sabbah Haji is not associated with Haji Public School in any official capacity,” the statement from the school reads.