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Protests erupt after rakhis ‘confiscated’ from students at Karnataka school

Authorities at Infant Mary English Medium High School in Katipalla say rakhis were disallowed after a student complained that he was forced to wear one by his classmates.

Infant Mary English Medium High School, Katipalla, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka,Principal Margaret Pryce decided to confiscate all the rakhis from the students after a Class 9 student complained on Wednesday that he had been “forced” by his classmates to wear one despite refusing many times, according to Fr Santhosh Lobo, the school official.(File Photo)

Parents and local Hindutva activists protested on Friday against a school in Karnataka’s communally sensitive Dakshina Kannada district for allegedly removing rakhis that students wore on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

As the protesters accused teachers of Infant Mary English Medium High School in Katipalla of throwing students’ rakhis in the dustbin, a top official of the school management said the matter had been “blown out of proportion and given a communal turn”.

Principal Margaret Pryce decided to confiscate all the rakhis from the students after a Class 9 student complained on Wednesday that he had been “forced” by his classmates to wear one despite refusing many times, according to Fr Santhosh Lobo, the school official.

“The administration acted on the students depending on the situation and to avoid any communal clashes. We are not against wearing rakhis or celebrating Raksha Bandhan. If this was the case, we wouldn’t have allowed students to wear rakhis in the first place. The matter was blown out of proportion unnecessarily and some parents and organisations deliberately gave it a political and communal turn,” Lobo, who has called a meeting on Saturday to clear the air, told indianexpress.com.

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“I have asked all students to assemble tomorrow. We all will embrace and celebrate Raksha Bandhan to spread love and oneness among the brothers and sisters,” he said.

According to Lobo, some parents have reported the matter to the education department, which is expected to inquire with the school authorities about the controversy.

“It is very unfortunate that a situation like this went out of control. Despite offering an apology to the parents, they have complained to the education authorities. Now the administration has to face the consequences unnecessarily. This is nothing but torturing,” he said.

First published on: 12-08-2022 at 09:05:34 pm
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