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Mangaluru: In a bizarre incident, the principal of a reputed pre-university college in Mangaluru taluk brutally assaulted a physically challenged orphan student for offering namaz in the mosque and allegedly called him a ‘terrorist’ without any provocation.
17-year-old Siddiq was admitted to a private hospital in Mangaluru for treatment with severe injuries after the shameful assault on the campus on Friday afternoon by Br Hector BN Pinto, the principal of St Joseph’s Pre-University College, Bajpe.
It is learnt that Mr. Siddiq lost his father a few years ago and his mother also suffering from high blood pressure and other diseases.
When the elder sister and relatives of the victim visited the college on Saturday and took the principal to task, he openly confessed to the crime and tendered an apology. “I am sorry. I have realized my mistake. I shouldn’t have assaulted him,” he said.
Later, the principal along with a few teaching and non-teaching staff of the college visited the victim in the hospital and directly apologized. “Don’t treat any other student like this,” replied the boy.
Eye witnesses told Coastaldigest.com that the principal mercilessly thrashed the student on Thursday and Friday despite knowing that the latter was fasting.
“On Thursday afternoon the principal abused Siddiq and assaulted him for being a couple of minutes late to the class. Siddiq told the principal that he had been to mosque to offer namaz. The principal told him not to go to mosque in the afternoon henceforth.
“On Friday afternoon, when Siddiq was returning to the class after praying juma namaz in the mosque the principal dragged him and started beating him. He also banged the boy’s head against the wall. The boy, who was fasting, started vomiting and collapsed,” said one of the students.
Siddiq’s brother-in-law said that after the attack he was taken to a local clinic in Bajpe for treatment. However, the doctor advised to take him to Mangaluru immediately and get him admitted in a private hospital.
Many students in the college and all neighbours of Mr Siddiq said that he was an innocent boy and known for his good conduct. “He never misbehaved with anyone. After his father’s death he became introvert and he always offered namaz on time in mosque,” said one of his friends.
The victim, who was discharged on Saturday night, told Coastaldigest.com that the principal has been harassing, abusing and assaulting him for a year without any valid reason. “So many times he thrashed me without any reason. He also used to ask me to clean the toilet in the college and threaten me to issue bad conduct certificate if he failed to do so.
Some of the friends of the victim in the college said on condition of anonymity that this kind of behavior towards the boy started a few days after he joined first PUC last year.
“The principal always ask some of the students to clean the class room. Once, Siddiq was cleaning the class room. He had kept his identity card inside his bag. The principal shouted at him for not wearing identity card along with uniform and asked him to pay a fine of Rs 100.
“Even though the boy took out his identity card from the bag and showed it to the principal the latter was adamant on his demand for fine. Siddeeq, who is an orphan and hails from a poor family, could not pay the fine immediately.
A day after the brutal assault the Dakshina Kannada district unit of Campus Front of India staged a protest in front of the college demanding the college management to take action against the principal and sack him from the post.
The agitators slammed the principal for spreading communalism in the campus and behaving like a ‘rowdy’. “We have received several complaints that he deliberately targets Muslim students,” said one of the protesters.
Later when a delegation of CFI members met the principal at his house, he reiterated that he had realized his mistake and also said that he had decided to resign from the post of principal. When contacted the college management said that it had received the resignation letter from the principal and a decision would be taken after a meeting on Monday.
A case has also been registered at jurisdictional Bajpe Police Station against the principal based on the complaint lodged by the student.