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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

College halts plan to name park after Swamy as Hindutva outfits object

Rev Fr Melwin Joseph Pinto, Rector of St Aloysius institutions and Vice-President of the Mangalore Jesuit Educational Society, said they have shelved the plan.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: October 10, 2021 9:09:20 pm
Stan Swamy

The management of a private autonomous college in Karnataka has postponed its decision to name one of its parks after Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy following opposition from Hindutva outfits which have threatened to stage a protest.

The management of St Aloysius College in Mangaluru wanted to name the park after Swamy for his contributions towards tribals and the poor. Rev Fr Melwin Joseph Pinto, Rector of St Aloysius institutions and Vice-President of the Mangalore Jesuit Educational Society, said they have shelved the plan in the wake of threats and will take a call after further discussions.

VHP leader Sharan Pumpwell said Swamy was an “urban Naxal” who was arrested under the UAPA and faced serious allegations, including terrorism and Maoism for his alleged role in the Bhima-Koregaon violence. “We are not against naming the park; they can name it after Oscar Fernandes or George Fernandes or the founding fathers of St Aloysius College which has immensely contributed to the field of education, but not after Stan Swamy. Though Swamy is dead, the charges against him have not been cleared,” he said.

Pinto said he has personally worked with Swamy and that he had contributed immensely for the upliftment of tribal people across the country, especially in Jharkhand.

A source claimed that the management had scheduled the naming ceremony for Thursday but postponed it after the police got busy with the President’s visit to the state.

On Saturday, Pinto said, “We are now going to hold discussions with members of the management to take a call. We are not sure of naming the park after Swamy at this point of time.”

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