Indian teacher arrested after religious hymns found on school laptop

Indian teacher Shijo Kokkattu was arrested last week on Raa Atoll for possession of Catholic imagery and a Bible.

A Raafainu School teacher had contacted police after finding what appeared to be Christian hymn videos on a school computer, which 30 year-old Kokkattu had allegedly transferred from his personal flash drive by accident.

Foreign media and school sources reported that religious songs and pictures had been transferred onto the desktop of a school laptop, which Kokkattu had used.

“The videos were in Indian, so I don’t know what they were saying, but the images were Christian,” said Raafainu Principal Mohamed Shiraj. Shiraj did not know if the video transfer was intentional.

Shiraj said that a teacher had found the material and contacted the National Administrative Center, which had reported the matter to the police. Kokkattu was taken into custody, where he has been held for the past week.

Police could not confirm Kokkattu’s arrest and detention.

Kokkattu, of Kerala, India, had been teaching at Raafainu School for two years before his arrest. “He was a very good teacher, we’ve not had any complaints of him in the past,” said Shiraj.

Shiraj said Kokkattu had not shown the material to anyone.

Meanwhile, the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has demanded in regional media that the Indian government seek an apology from the Maldives over Kokkattu’s treatment.

“The lack of justice and the degree of religious intolerance in the Maldives is reflected by the actions of the Maldives government,” GCIC President Sajan K George told Asia News. “This is the worst form of religious persecution. The Indian government should demand an apology for the shabby treatment inflicted on one of its citizens.”

George called Kokkattu’s case evidence of the Maldives’ paradoxical nature. He said the Maldives “claims to be a major tourist destination, yet arrests innocent people,” George said. “This shows its intolerance and discrimination towards non-Muslims as well as its restrictions on freedom of conscience and religion.”


75 thoughts on “Indian teacher arrested after religious hymns found on school laptop”

  1. I have warned this site repeatedly, that if the do not cease to publish Islamophobic articles such as this - that I shall complain! Yet they do not take heed!

    Anyway, for brining such a heinous object onto our Islamic shores - a text that has adulterated what was once the pure word of God with the lunatic ramblings of trinity-worshippers - and for posing a threat to our religious unity, putting innocent children in danger of being led astray, and for blatantly flouting our laws - I applaud the brave men who enforce our laws for brining him to justice, and disabusing him of any delusions that he could carry on with such nefarious actions with impunity.

    As for you Indians - do not interfere in our national affairs, and be respectful of our culture and religion.

  2. This is very sad, for a country that depends not only on foreign tourists but foreign aid you would think we would be a bit tolerant. I hope for the day we see religious freedom in Maldives, and all you people who are going to start moaning, please read what i wrote carefully.."religious freedom" NOT lets abolish islam

  3. so teachers (mostly from India) life hangs in a string, just one mistake (mistake of possessing religious material) could mean end of his teaching career and police detention and tried as a criminal. WTF really?

    Im not saying these are the best of teachers, but he should be arrested only if convicted with a crime right? here in Maldives as the infamous saying goes, you are guilty until proven innocent. especially when it comes to... , hold your horses, RELIGIOn.

  4. the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) mind your own business.this is not maldives indian should follow maldivian law,not indian law

  5. This is getting more ridiculous by the day. What also amazes me is that one of our educators, responsible for moulding the guiding our kids to the path of morality, is small minded enough to report this. This demonstrates the level to which we have fallen - when the intelligentsia behave this way its a wonder expats are not being slaughtered for their beliefs.

    For too long we have lived with our heads buried in the sand, it's time to put an end to this nonsense. To each their religion, we must demand a secular tolerant government.

    This bigotry is not just an embarrassment anymore it is a clear and present danger to our society. We cannot allow our society to degenerate to the level of barbarians, I would like to believe we are better than that.

  6. Yes, indeed, a staged event, so that Minivan News can report it!

  7. quite possibly a staged event to address the religious freedom issue in a indirect way.

    I can safely conclude that the writings on Minivan are chosen to highlight contradictions in the Maldives society (eg, dildo story) and I must say there is a method to it.

  8. Eleanor Johnstone, this is lazy journalism on your part. This story was reported worldwide in the first week of July this year. You have simply read it making its rounds in Facebook this week and, without looking at the date on the reports, you simply assumed the man was arrested "last week". That is being intolerably lazy. Did you do any research other than reading those reports except, of course, the date? While you used those reports as your source, you didn't even show the courtesy of acknowledging them.

  9. @Rooster on Mon, 10th Oct 2011 9:37 PM

    "I will not be surprised if this incident is found to have been staged."

    This is also a possibility. The secularists will shamelessly use every kind of contrivance as a means of eventually imposing their tyrannical regime, even over the protestations of those Maldivians who are truly patriotic and loyal to both country and religion - and who, incidentally will not stand down when confronted with those who would foist Western agendas upon us, nor be hesitant to punish those who renounce their country and our common faith.

    So, to those traitors and their foreign agents I say: we shall stand our ground, and we shall stand firm! Kaleymenna Halaaku huri!

    Countrymen! Though we may put ourselves in great danger by exposing such potential truths, I urge you to struggle with all your might that the masses might take heed of the perils that might be thrust upon us by the villainy of the Godless emissaries that preach licentiousness and disbeleif. Be ever alert! Be ever vigilant!

    In God do we seek refuge!

    Eyy Dhivehi dhareenneey! Gaumu Hiyaamai Kuran thayyaara thibey!

  10. "I can safely conclude that the writings on Minivan are chosen to highlight contradictions in the Maldives society (eg, dildo story) and I must say there is a method to it."

    Well when you got shit on your arse you don't get pissed off with the one that points it out, neither would you be concerned about the methodology used to convey the message. You would just clean yourself up.

  11. I kindly Apologize on behalf of the people of my country. This surely was the stupidity in part of Police. He should have atleast be given a warning and left it was inappropriate. The police in our country really loves to take people in custody and keep them in as long as they please.

  12. Hello conspiracy theorists (for those who dosnt understand sarcasm, its you who believe faith blindly). this is the type of stories which you love to make the stories like the above comments. "Yes, indeed, a staged event, so that Minivan News can report it!".

    "the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) mind your own business.this is not maldives indian should follow maldivian law,not indian law/"

    enjoy the humor while you can make fun of them.

  13. This is how Maldivian thank their expat teachers. I would say to leave these goat f----ers to themselves!

  14. The 'fear' or 'hatred' of Jesus is common between the Mullahs and the Jews. As long as you have the Internet, Maldivians will have access to materials on other religions. Maldivians go to India, Sri Lanka or abroad for study, pleasure or treatment and are exposed to all sorts of religions. Your laws are just too stone age, face it. You cannot stop information flow. Not before, not now, never. Being an island community doesn't imply you treat your brain like an island - open up, learn what's out there. It will not necessarily turn you against your Islamic faith, but could actually reinforce it. Jesus, Buddha or other deities cannot be sneaked through the back door. At the end of the day, it is a personal decision. And by the way, you were Buddhists before you embraced Islam. Do not forget where you came from.

  15. @ Dhivehi Haguraama

    The excessive Haasaru on your comments loose my intrerest. Its so 1920s. Very few would use your style of English now a days. I would rather read Jane Eyre if I am so interested in that style.

    "Gaumu Hiyaamai Kuran thayyaara thibey!"
    Its not HIYAAMAI.

    Condescending? I am suspecting you would say so.
    My apologies if I am. Couldn't help. 🙂

  16. wtf??? arrested for possession of a bible and religious hymns that he has not been known to share with others? if this isn't persecution, what is? i am ashamed, and yes, i do think we owe an apology to indians in this regard.

  17. Let me remind the Head of GCIC a proverb that is very important for a person in your capacity.


    When a Maldivian is teaching at a Christian school in India having anti-Christian materials in his school laptop, the Principal cannot tolerate so why do one expect a Principal at a 100 percent Islamic school tolerating it

  18. As an expat in the country for more than five years now, I do still am having difficulty in absorbing the country's double-bladed policies and laws. Maldives has declared itself a 100% Muslim, yet embraces tourism as its means of income. Prevent foreign people from consuming alcohol in Male yet find locals having their binge at the resorts and islands. Keep on saying that Maldives is for Maldivians but yet you find most Maldivians on foreign land together with their money.

    The teacher, as been described has never created problem and was commended for his professionalism and commitment towards work and service. He is now arrested making him a criminal and yet he has not harmed anybody, he has not consumed drugs, he has not abused minors nor has he been involved in any killing of such. I have seen far worst situations and supposed convictions done by your fellow citizen yet they remain freely roaming around the streets waiting for their next possible victims and prey.

    As an Expat who has been to almost all Muslim country around the world, has always respected their religion, culture and belief whilst they also maintain the same with me. When can this be felt in Maldives?

  19. @Naju...

    Have you experienced a condition where a Maldivian gets to teach at a school in India and his religion is not respected? When you stance a fact, you need to support it with evidence.

    Your belief is what you are... We may have difference religions yet we all summon to one creator and one God.

  20. Ah Maldives, a 100% muslim nation. When will you people get over this delusion that every single person who's Maldivian is muslim? Yes, maybe by laws created by corrupt pm's, but the reality is, there are many non-muslims living amongst you.

    As for the case, I suggest that the authorities just drop the case and deport him if they want to push this as a 'huge' criminal offense. He didn't harm anybody, and the report says that he was a good teacher. Accidents do happen, and this could be counted as one. But considering the fact that Maldivians in general are so afraid of the word Jesus, I can understand where this whole thing has ended up.

  21. Welcome to Taliban era of Maldives!
    So what is problems if he is a christians?He do not create some christians association of Maldives /It is his right to belive in what he is belive/
    It is so stupid arrest for such things in 21 century!!! Better try to arrest holy bearded homosexualist and porno makers from Addalath fanatics!

  22. Welcome to the ignorant way of understanding Islam.
    God will now be swinging the magic wand to initiate a destructive tsunami that will destroy Indonesia and Srilanka. Too bad they are in the vicinity of this Indian who had different views to gods beautiful religion.

    Way to go guys.

  23. Minivan thrives on this kind of bs! The arrest of the teacher is not particularly a harsh form of treatment. Here in our islands you can be arrested for farting out aloud. Nobody makes a big fuss about it. This is not Europe, we are perfectly happy with being a little bit roughed up by police.. we are used to it. Under Maumoon it was worse, but still people didn't make it like a big thing.
    So cool down ppl.

  24. Do all you good people out there not think that religion and politics should be a personal choice and not forced onto you...

  25. To Win and Pork,
    He was taken to the custody of Atoll Police on 28th September 7:30pm.Thanks for reporting this incident in one of the newspaper in the Maldives.

  26. @Rooster on Tue, 11th Oct 2011 8:47 AM

    D'aaw you must have missed my correction - himaayai it is!

    Deciphering identities, and now spotting typo's. A man of great skill indeed!

    We can use someone of your talent and powerful intellect to foil the plots of the secularists. For instance "arresting" so called "Roman Catholic", "Indian" "teachers" - in a nefarious effort to garner publicity to their heinous cause.

    Incidentally, Jayne Eyre was more 1840's than 1920's though but whatev's...

  27. Yes, yes, Minivan has a niche - sparking religious debate.

    But do we really have the time to examine our social attitudes towards other religions?

    We're drowned in debt and sinking ever deeper. This country needs to prioritize economic issues. We cannot run around planting palms and posing for pictures any longer.

    Enough is enough. This bubble has burst. We need a real president and a real government. Not a marketing firm with a toothy jester.

  28. When some one talk about freedom of religion he should not cross the line in this country. Once they cross the line our freedom is breached. Don't ruin the young brains of this country and call it freedom of religion.

  29. I have one major issue. Are we Muslims so scared of our own faith? Do we have no faith in ourselves that if we see a Bible or a cross that we would instantly become a Christian?
    I think this is the issue here.It is an issue about us and not about Christians or people of other faith.
    I see many crosses, many bibles, many temples and churches and have been in some and spoken to thousands of people from other faith yet no one has convinced me to change my religion.

    People who are worried about these thing probably have no faith in themselves. All these people who complain are worried that others may also think of changing their religion.

    If anyone has faith in themselves, they would not be worried about any of these things.

  30. Is God (Allah) really so petty that he would condemn someone to hell for not believing in him when it is so hard to believe in him at times? He is meant to be the MOST MERCIFUL and I am just averagely Merciful and I would not condemn someone to hell for not believing in me, why, some of you think I am a Maldivian posing as a Westerner, you don't believe in me, I would still accept you into my paradise if I had one though you don't believe in me, so what more would the MOST Merciful do?

    The problem is, the concept of the Divine in organised religion is too petty, too narrow, the Divine loves all, will accept all into paradise though they may face justice first, as all God's creation is good though corrupted,

    This is my thinking

  31. @ Dhivehi Haguraama

    "A man of great skill indeed!"
    Looks are deceptive.

    "Incidentally, Jayne Eyre was more 1840′s than 1920′s though but whatev’s…"
    I thought you might start crying if I told you its so 1840s. 🙂

  32. @ Dhivehi Haguraama

    I think your posts are as staged as this 'news' article. Nobody can be as stupid as you openly claim to be.

  33. This is my fourth year in Maldives. What i understood from the local people "Maldivians are like the frog in well" Because frog thinking that is the only world. But it is a truth for humself.born live and die in the well itself. So please come out of the well. There is a world.

  34. I am 100% Maldivian and I bother about Islam or about other religions. For me all religions are man created stuff.
    The fact is some of expatriate workers especially Christians from Kerala and Tamilnadu try to do a bit of missionary in Maldivian Island community. I believe this is wrong thing to do here in Maldives.

  35. @Deecay on Tue, 11th Oct 2011 7:47 PM

    "I think your posts are as staged as this ‘news’ article. Nobody can be as stupid as you openly claim to be."

    Implicit in your statement is that at some level you do admit this could be a conspiracy, - an "enginereed" news item if you will - to further some kind of goal, using this supposed "Indian", "Roman Catholic" as a pawn in their game.

    If you are thus in agreement with my larger point - which I have apparently expressed in vocabulary not very much appreciated by the uncultured youth of today, (a failure of the past administration I must say) - it is quite confusing just exactly what it is with my position that you take issue with?

    This man just HAPPENS to be "arrested" by the authorities, for possessing unislamic "religious objects" that are forbidden by law, and it just HAPPENS that this so called "story" is picked up on and published on this so called "news website"- and we have "commentaters" here crying "religious persecution" or whatnot. There's something at work here, and we are all in great peril!

  36. smp: You lived to see a fourth year in Maldives? Why the generalisation? Where'd you from?

  37. Anyone visiting is explicitly informed of these rules and regulations. The law is the law. Is it fair? Maybe not but it's what the majority of people want. When in Rome and all that.

  38. In a civilized country having hymns on your laptop would not matter a jot but hey, this is the 100% muslim republic of Maldives where mad mullahs rule the roost. I hope the Indian authorities in Male and Indian media are monitoring this disturbing story. FIRSTLY, Principal Mohamed Shiraj should be declared persona non grata and not allowed to set foot on Indian soil again. His picture should be posted in the arrival halls of Trivandrum, Bangalore and Mumbai airports. Let us hope he doesn't need a heart bypass or a kidney transplant anytime soon. SECONDLY, the Indian government should impose the same draconian travel restrictions that apply to our other 'failed state' neighbours. THIRDLY, all Indian professionals including teachers and specialist doctors in the 'India gifted' IGMH should leave the Maldivians to their own devices. Lets face it you do not even have a university in your country.
    JESUS, BIBLE, RAM, GITA, JEW, HINDU, RAMAYAN, KRISHNA, these words have scared the crap out of you muslims.
    Ben Plewright, don't you wish you hadn't converted when you read stories like this?

  39. @ Indira NewDelhi

    "... but hey, this is the 100% muslim republic of Maldives where mad mullahs rule the roost."
    I don't know why you have to give your two cents worth to such a roost. You are doing nothing but inciting hatred with your 'my country is btter than your country' attitude.
    Are you jealous?

    Idon't think you have even understood whats given in the article. I suggest you read it again before you comment.

  40. @ Rooster
    Am I jealous? What of? I don't live in a backward, intolerant islamic republic (100% muslim no less!!)with a precarious economy based on fishing and tourism, where thousands of young men are on heroin and crack cocaine and which is drowning in the Indian Ocean. You do.
    As for hate mongering, locking up an innocent school teacher for possessing hymns on his computer is bloody stupid in this day and age....dont you think?
    To earn respect you must show respect.

  41. To err is human. This was a "no issue" but made a big fuss. The accused said that by mistake he did that. We Maldivians should have been tolerant and the teacher could have been verbally warned. But no. We have to show how intolerant and narrow minded we Maldivians are. The teacher was hounded and put behind bars. Unnecessary fuss was made over a non-issue.

  42. @Zeenat

    Absoloutely not, he flouted our laws and therefore he must be punished. It is a weak and foolish course of action to grant mercy to criminals.

  43. @Dhivehi Hanguraama aka MMM*
    I hope Shijo Kokkattu has been released from prison and all charges dropped. If you fanatical nutcases are so keen to stop 'infidels' from bringing religious artifacts into your backward intolerant country may I suggest you recruit your surgeons, IT consultants and professors from other backward intolerant countries....try Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. By the same token can I request all Maldivian travellers to secular India to leave their islamic paraphernalia behind. So please don't bring Korans, plastic jerry cans of zam zam water, prayer rugs, 'holy' rocks and soil from Mecca and assorted talismen....OK? Fair is fair!!
    Why it is that muslims want the freedom to practice their religion in secular countries but do not extend the same courtesy to non muslims in their own countries?
    Secular, free and democratic India has much to teach you. LEARN FROM THE INDIANS.
    I hope Indian journalists covering this stomach churning story will translate Eleanor Johnstone's report above into all the Indian languages and blitz the regional newspapers and TV channels. Let us show the 1.1 billion Indians that there is a primitive country on our doorstep where innocent teachers are imprisoned simply for having some hymns on their laptops.
    MMM* by the way stands for MAD MULLAH of MALDIVES

  44. As a frequent visitor to the Maldives I am dismayed by the treatment of the teacher. He was not trying to convert anyone to his religion and I could understand that would be justified anger if he did. The Maldives has signed up to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which includes the freedom of religion. Most western countries allow people of all religions to practice their own religion and a city like London has many mosques and places of worship for other religions. I am not religious myself but respect a persons right to practice their own religion if they wish to do so.

  45. We watch Indian movies. Repeatedly. Praise them. Copy music from them. Learn hymns in them. On TV. On satellite channels. Comment and review them On magazines. On local news papers.

    Yet we worry about this???

    hypocritical mullahs wants dark ages where ever they go!

  46. @Indira NewDhelhi

    I do not see why you should advocate for such bigotry against those Muslims who visit India - they do not bring harm, but the glad presence of the one true religion into the midst of an unwisely bred nation that has been rendered to be of inferior moral and intellectual quality by their heresy and polytheism.

    Indeed, the level of Islamophobia in your comment is atrocious, and you have exposed yourself as a bigot.

    But know this, we will enforce our justice on whatever poor soul flouts the laws of this country - and we shall stand firm in our commitment to the true faith, of Islam!

  47. Indira, I think you are only showing your immaturity by commenting on this website. I suggest you keep your words with you.

    If our people work abroad, they should respect the laws and regulations of that country no matter what they are. It is not our duty to dictate what their laws should or should not allow.

    If we are able to pay fat salaries like the other countiries do, our teachers, surgeons, IT consultants, etc will not go aborad to work leaving their families behind.


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