Mangaluru school fulfils BJP MLAs demand, suspends teacher who told students ‘Ramayan, Mahabharat imaginary’

News Network
February 13, 2024

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Mangaluru: A teacher was suspended from St Gerosa English Higher Primary School in Jeppu here on Monday, February 12, after a few parents and students instigated by Hindutva outfits accused her of hurting the sentiments of Hindus by calling Ramayana an imaginary story and “failing to respect” PM Narendra Modi during a Moral Science lesson.

The agitators, supported by elected representatives of BJP, alleged that a teacher from St Gerosa English HR Primary School in the coastal town taught students that the Mahabharat and the Ramayan were "imaginary".

Sr Anitha, the headmistress, said the teacher in question, Sr Prabha, in her late-40s and who had been teaching at the school for about 10 years, will soon be replaced.

The current incident came to light after an audio clip reportedly made by a parent and addressed to a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader went viral on Saturday, leading to protests by parents in front of the school.

The parent claimed that a class seven teacher had made derogatory remarks during a Moral Science lesson titled 'Work is Worship', hurting religious sentiments. He claimed that the teacher reportedly made derogatory remarks about the consecration of Ram Lalla idol and the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and made certain observations about the Godhra incident and the subsequent Gujarat riots of 2002.

“We will abide by the final decision of the inquiry team. Such an unfortunate incident had never happened in this 60-year-old school. It has created a temporary mistrust. We abide by the constitutional values and treat all faith and communities equally,” the headmistress said, as protests continued on Monday. At one point, the public tried to barge into the school compound, but were thwarted by the police.

The decision to suspend the teacher was taken after a meeting between deputy commissioner Mullai Muhilan MP, city police commissioner Anupam Agrawal, DDPI DR Naik and representatives of the school staff and management, following protests by a section of the parents and two MLAs, demanding action against the accused teacher.

The DC said an inquiry into the incident will be completed at the earliest.

Earlier in the day, BJP MLAs D Vedavyas Kamath and Dr Bharath Shetty, VHP leader Sharan Pumpwell, and others met the DDPI and submitted a memorandum, demanding suspension of the teacher.

While the school took its time to announce the suspension of the teacher, many students backed by Hindutva forces, too, joined the protests, even as slogans such as “Jai Shri Ram,” “Bharat Ka Baccha Jai Shree Ram Bolega,” “Bharat Mata ki jai, “Vande Mataram” rent the air.

Though the initial demand was to suspend Sr Prabha, later, irate parents and a section of the students also made allegations against another teacher who had allegedly made derogatory remarks against ‘Koragajja.’

Once the DC and police commissioner arrived at the spot, they tried to pacify the MLAs who claimed they had been waiting for nearly four hours without an appropriate response from the school management.

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News Network
April 14,2024

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Sunday expressed deep concern over the military escalation in the Middle East and urged all parties involved to exercise restraint, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of "serious repercussions" on the region and its peoples from the dangers of a wider war, according to SPA.

Iran on Saturday launched drones and missiles against Israel, making good its threat to retaliate against the Israeli air strike that destroyed an Iranian embassy annex building in Damascus, Syria, killing at least 13 people, including two generals of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard.

The Saudi ministry "affirmed the Kingdom’s position calling for the need for the Security Council to assume its responsibility towards maintaining international peace and security, especially in this region that is extremely sensitive to global peace and security, and to prevent the escalation of the crisis that will have serious consequences if it expands," said the SPA report. 

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News Network
April 4,2024

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Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are wondering how they are going to feed their families as World Central Kitchen (WCK) paused its operations in response to the killing of seven of its aid workers in an Israeli air strike.

Another US charity it works with, Anera, has also suspended work because of the escalating risks faced by its local staff and their families.

Together, they were serving two million meals a week across the Palestinian territory, where the UN has warned that an estimated 1.1 million people - half the population - are facing catastrophic hunger because of Israeli restrictions on aid deliveries, the ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of order.

WCK's decision to pause its work also led to the "freezing" of a maritime aid corridor from Cyprus, which the charity helped set up last month to increase the trickle of aid getting into the north of Gaza and avert a looming famine.

The WCK convoy was hit on Monday night as it travelled south along the Israeli-designated coastal aid route, just after they had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of food from a barge at a warehouse in Deir al-Balah.

That barge was part of a four-vessel flotilla that sailed back to Cyprus with 240 tonnes of supplies that could not be brought ashore in the wake of the strike.

The Norwegian Refugee Council warned that "what happened to World Central Kitchen threatens the entire aid system" and had left it "on the brink".

WCK accused the Israeli military of a "targeted attack" on vehicles clearly marked with the charity's logo and whose movements had been co-ordinated with Israel authorities. The victims were British, Polish, Australian and Palestinian, and also included a dual US-Canadian citizen.

The aid groups say that this was not an isolated incident, with at least 196 Palestinian aid workers already killed since the war began in October.

Jan Egeland, the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council and a former UN humanitarian chief, said that WCK was "among those who have the closest co-operation with the Israelis", in terms of sharing information about their workers' locations and planned movements.

Before the strike, WCK was playing an increasingly prominent and important role in Gaza, with 400 Palestinian staff and 3,000 people working indirectly in its 68 community kitchens and distribution system across the territory.

WCK provided 12% of the 193,000 tonnes of aid from international organisations that had reached Gaza as of Tuesday, according to data from Cogat, the Israeli defence ministry body tasked with co-ordinating deliveries. However, UN agencies were responsible for 80% of the total.

WCK's founder, the chef José Andrés, said on Wednesday that it was "analysing the situation and how to keep doing the work we do".

Anera - which was providing 150,000 meals a day in collaboration with WCK - said it understood the consequences pausing its own work would have on Palestinians, but that its Palestinian staff had for the first time deemed the risk to their safety and that of their families "intolerable".

It said the charity's logistics co-ordinator and his son had been killed in an Israeli air strike in Deir al-Balah in March, despite the fact that the co-ordinates of the shelter where they were staying had been provided to the Israeli military.

"We've asked for explanation as to why that site was struck and we've received none," Derek Madsen of Anera said. "These sites are known and so I think it is very difficult for us to understand how these strikes happen."

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News Network
April 3,2024

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Boxer and Congress leader Vijender Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Singh had fought the 2019 general elections unsuccessfully from the South Delhi seat as a candidate of the grand old party.

“Today I am joining the BJP… it is like ghar wapsi (homecoming) for me,” Singh said after the joining the saffron camp at the party’s headquarters in the national capital.

“Good to be back,” he said, adding that, “When we would go out for the fight there were issues at airports but now under this government we are getting all the respect.”

The boxer’s name was doing the rounds for the last few days as Congress’ nominee from Mathura, from where actor and incumbent MP Hema Malini is contesting again.

Singh — India’s first Olympic medalist in boxing — comes from the Jat community, which has political influence in a large number of seats in Haryana, the state he comes from, western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

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