Hours Before Mangaluru Protest, Karnataka Asked Officials to Keep Tab on 'Kerala Students', Letter Stirs Row
A file photo of police detaining anti-CAA protesters in Mangaluru in December last year.
New Delhi: A circular issued by the Karnataka government hours before violent anti-CAA protests in Mangaluru, asking colleges in Dakshina Kannada district to keep a tab on students from Kerala, is kicking up a storm.
The circular was issued on December 19 by the joint director, department of collegiate education, Dakshina Kannada, reported The Times of India.
Later that day, the protests had turned violent as a mob allegedly tried to attack a police station and cops opened fire killing two protesters.
Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner said that that the joint director of the department of collegiate education made a mistake in drafting the circular, however, the intention was “to stress on the safety” of students from Kerala.
“The decision to issue the circular has been taken at the level of officials. They have taken this step as a precautionary measure in the backdrop of the recent developments Mangaluru witnessed,” Deputy CM Ashwath Narayan.
The circular invited sharp criticism from opposition, students and the educationists who called it ‘discriminatory’ and showing Karnataka in a bad light.
Mangaluru has a sizeable chunk of students from Kerala pursuing professional courses. The city has around one lakh students of which 15% to 20% are from Kerala. Congress MLC Ivan D’Souza termed the circular shocking and shameful.
District minister Kota Srinivas Poojari said it would not be fair to comment on the circular without seeing it. A chairperson of a Mangaluru education institution, which has about 30% of student population from Kerala, criticized the order, saying it could affect the admissions besides creating fear in the minds of the parents.