Vemilion forcibly applied on school principal Jaimon Joseph (on left). He was coerced into wearing a saffron scarf and chant Jai Shri Ram (on right)
Vemilion forcibly applied on school principal Jaimon Joseph (on left). He was coerced into wearing a saffron scarf and chant Jai Shri Ram (on right) X/ Mohammed Zubair

Telangana: Hindu mob attacks Catholic school, forces principal to chant Jai Shri Ram

Written by : TNM Staff

A mob in saffron attire, chanting Jai Shri Ram, trespassed into Mother Teresa High School, a catholic institution in Kannepally village, Mancherial district in Telangana on Tuesday, April 16, and vandalised properties. The angry mob assaulted the school principal Jaimon Joseph, forcibly applied vermillion - a Hindu religious symbol on his forehead and forced him to chant Jai Shri Ram.

The Hindutva group took offence, allegedly, after the school administration refused to allow three Hindu students, who came in saffron attire as they were observing Hanuman Deeksha, to attend classes. Hanuman Deeksha is a religious observance that usually lasts 41 days before visiting a temple. The school principal was also forced to apologise to appease the angry crowd. He was coerced into wearing a saffron scarf while addressing the mob. 

Visuals of the attack which were widely circulated on social media show the saffron-clad men storming into the school premises and breaking the windows with stones and  destroying flower pots. 

They were also caught hurling stones at the Mother Teresa statue at the entrance of the school. 

In the videos, the saffron-clad mob were also seen assaulting the school principal and forcibly applying orange vermilion on him. 

The Principal was forced to take cover in his office with the help of police as the angry mob chased him. Visuals show that only five policemen were present at the scene and were unable to control the mob. 

Following the attack, the mob set up a speaker and a mic for the Principal to make a public apology wearing a saffron scarf. “We did not want to hurt anyone. We only asked them to wear uniforms. I apologise if that hurt you. We will not let this happen again,” the Principal told the angry crowd. In the video, the men were seen coercing him to chant Jai Shri Ram along with them. 

Meanwhile, the Ramagundam police have filed an FIR against the school correspondent Jobbi Dominic and school principal Jaimon Joseph for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. They were booked under sections 153 A (promoting enmity on religious grounds) and 295 A (intention of outraging religious feelings). 

The police registered the case based on the complaint of Gorre Thirupathi, father of one of the affected students. 

In his complaint, Thirupathi, alleged that school correspondent Jobbi Dominic and Principal Jaimon Joseph did not permit his child to enter the school on April 15. He alleged that when he went to the school along with his son on the following day, the teachers yet again refused to allow them to the school unless they obtained permission from the Principal.  “The teachers said that my son and two others were not allowed to school and needed the principal's permission. The principal and correspondence hurt Hindu sentiments and their actions are increasing the hostility between Hindus and Christians, ” Thirupathi alleged in his complaint. 

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