Principal beaten to death by protestors in Malappuram

via published on July 19, 2008

MALAPPURAM: A primary school teacher died yesterday after being beaten up allegedly by a group of protestors from the pro-IUML Youth League who were taking part in an agitation demanding withdrawal of a controversial seventh standard social science textbook.

James Augustin, Head Master of MLP School at Valillappuzha near Kondotty town, succumbed to injuries after he was attacked by the marchers near a school at Kizhissery where he gone to attend a meeting.

The protestors also disrupted the meeting which was convened to share the academic experiences of teachers in the nearby schools, police said.

Augustin was first taken to a private hospital and then to the Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode. He died before reaching the medical college hospital, the sources said.

The youth and student outfits of the Congress-led UDF have been on warpath for the last three weeks demanding that the LDF government withdraw the textbook which, they alleged, contained portions meant to propagate atheism.

The Government had recently modified the disputed segment in the textbook based on the recommendation of an expert committee. The UDF had, however, refused to call of the protest, demanding that the book be withdrawn.

The pro-UDF outfits had taken out marches in different parts of the state and disrupted such meetings convened by teachers.

According to top police sources, 46-year-old Augustine was beaten up while he was taking out some papers from his bag near the school. He collapsed there and died on the way while being rushed to a nearby private hospital in Kozhikode. The incident triggered widespread protest throughout the state and teachers’ unions and student outfits have called for an education bandh in the state on July 21.


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