NEW YORK: A 12-year-old Muslim student with learning disabilities was forced by New York school officials to sign a false confession stating he was a “terrorist”, his family claimed in a $50 million federal lawsuit.

Nashwan Uppal, a US citizen of Pakistani background and a seventh grader at a middle school in East Islip, New York, was harassed by bullies who called him a terrorist and demanded to know what he planned to “blow up next,” according to the lawsuit.

Uppal, who did not understand what they were saying due to his disabilities, eventually responded that he would blow up the fence outside the school, the complaint said.

Following the incident, school officials yelled at Nashwan and instructed him to admit he was a member of the militant Islamic State group before forcing him to sign a false confession and searching his belongings, the lawsuit said. Police officers were also called and they searched Nash­wan’s home, according to the lawsuit.

A spokesman for the East Islip Union Free School District on Long Island declined to comment on pending litigation.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2016

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