Days after the headmaster of a government high school in Karnataka was heckled by activists of Sri Rama Sene for holding an essay competition on Prophet Muhammed, the state government suspended the headmaster on Thursday.
Abdul Munafar Bijapur, headmaster of Government High School in Nagavi village in Gadag district, was suspended by the department of public instruction. Additional Commissioner, department of public instruction, Sidramappa S Biradara issued the suspension order for holding the essay competition without any direction from the department or any government agency.
Bijapur, who has 28 years of experience in teaching, had been working in the school for the last three years.
The school has 172 students of Classes VIII to X and around 43 students had taken part in the essay competition. The prize money for the competition was Rs 5,000 for the winner and Rs 2,500 for the runner-up.
The department of public instruction said that the suspension order was issued as the headmaster had committed a mistake “being in a position of responsibility” and added that the allegations were prima facie proved in the inquiry. The suspension order was issued after Deputy Director of Public Instruction of Gadag district G M Basavalingappa had written a letter to the authorities.
Bijapur had defended himself by saying that they had conducted an essay competition in order to improve the handwriting among the students and it was routine. “Every month there are at least one or two events held where we conduct competitions. We have held programmes and essay competitions on Kanaka Dasa, Purandara Dasa and other personalities too in the past. These essay competitions are held to introduce the students to these personalities and to help them improve their handwriting,” he had said.