St Gerosa School issue: 2 BJP MLAs, 4 others booked for promoting enmity

FIR says leaders provoked students, intimidated school management
Representative Image.
Representative Image.

MANGALURU: BJP MLAs D Vedavyas Kamath and Bharat Shetty, VHP leader Sharan Pumpwell and three others have been booked for protesting in front of St Gerosa School and accusing its English teacher Sr Prabha of making derogatory remarks against the Hindu religion and its gods in class.

They have been booked under various IPC sections for promoting enmity between different communities, unlawful assembly, hurting religious feelings, criminal intimidation and other charges.

In a complaint filed with Mangaluru South police, Anil Gerald Lobo accused the BJP and VHP leaders of illegally protesting in front of the school, raising ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogans, making derogatory statements against Christianity, provoking students to violate the rules of the school and intimidating the school management. They were also accused of making statements with an intention to cause riots between Hindus and Christians, and disturb peace in Dakshina Kannada district.

Meanwhile, BJP and VHP leaders have strongly condemned the police action and demanded immediate withdrawal of cases, failing which they have threatened to intensify protests.

Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel alleged that a few years ago, Congress had made students of St Aloysius College protest against renaming of Mulki Sundaram Shetty Road. A Congress MLA had led the protest but no case was registered against him. Now, by lodging an FIR against BJP leaders, the Congress government has resorted to appeasement politics, he alleged.

Further, he said police have not taken action against those who allegedly spoke against Lord Ram. Kateel also demanded withdrawal of the transfer of DDPI Dayananda R Nayak.

VHP Dakshina Kannada district secretary Shivanand Mendon said they will stage a protest and raise ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogans in front of all police stations in Mangaluru City Police commissionerate limits on February 19, demanding withdrawal of the case. He said raising ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogans outside the school campus is not anti-national activity, and sought to know why police had refused to file a case against the teacher though parents had approached them. He alleged that police was under pressure.

DDPI’s transfer

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa clarified in the assembly that the transfer of the Mangaluru DDPI has nothing to do with the St Gerosa issue. There was a proposal for the transfer when the incident happened, he maintained.

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The New Indian Express