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UP withdraws Friday half-day order

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Last updated on: February 20, 2004 18:03 IST

Under attack from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Sangh Parivar, the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh on Friday withdrew its controversial order to close teaching work in government schools and colleges by noon on Fridays to facilitate Muslims to offer prayers.

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The announcement rescinding the order was made by the chief minister in the state assembly while replying to a debate on budget proposals.

"The government order regarding closing schools and colleges (up to intermediate level) at noon Fridays has been scrapped," Yadav said in the assembly.

He said a new order has been issued authorising district magistrates to issue appropriate orders in consultation with district inspector of schools and district basic education officers in Muslim dominated areas.

A government order issued on February 16, without stating any reason, had directed all government schools and colleges up to intermediate level affiliated to the UP Board to close at noon every Friday.

The decision had drawn flak from the opposition BJP.


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