Special Correspondent

A school in Gulbarga district was closed following ‘strange’ incidents

Girls reportedly complained of breathlessness as they entered the school

Miscreants had made an attempt to burn down principal’s chamber

GULBARGA: Timely intervention by members of the Bharat Jnan Vignan Samiti in exposing the hollowness in the claims of yet another incident of “Banamati” — the despised black magic practised in this part of Karnataka— saved the academic career of more than 150 students studying in a high school run by a private educational institution in Alur (B) in Aland taluk of Gulbarga district.

Incidents of girl students complaining of breathlessness and a few swooning as soon as they entered the school premises on the outskirts of the village forced the school authorities to close down the school a fortnight back fearing backlash from parents.

The parents had also stopped sending their wards, particularly girl students, to the school after the incidents, which were attributed by the villagers as yet another “Banamati” incident. The authorities of the school run by the S.R. Patil Education Society lodged a complaint with the Nimbarga police about the strange incidents and closed the school fearing harm to the students.

The police alerted the Bharat Jnan Vigyan Samiti. The samiti had on at least five occasions exposed the hands behind the so-called “Banamati” incident in the past two years.

Samiti State vice-president K. Lingappa along with secretary Shivasharana Malegoan, president of Samudaya Srishail Gooli, secretary Ashok Shetkar and Head of the Psychology Department in Gulbarga University Melkeri visited the village to investigate into the matter.

Mr. Lingappa and Prof. Gooli said that before visiting the school, they held a meeting with the parents and students to know the reasons behind the strange incidents. Prof. Gooli said one girl student had swooned while the members of the samiti were discussing the issue with the village elders and parents creating panic among the students and parents.

Prof. Gooli said that the parents and village elders were advised to remain calm and allow the girl to regain consciousness on her own so that they could talk to her in confidence. The team held a separate counselling session with the girl and came to know that the girl was suffering from psychological stress owing to the untimely death of her sister who was married off at an early age and who was allegedly ill-treated by her in-laws.

Later the team along with the students and parents visited the school and when they opened the doors of the principal’s chamber, they found that miscreants had made an attempt to burn down the chamber and in the fire few papers kept in the chamber were burnt. The miscreants had left a note which said: “The principal of the school should leave the place immediately otherwise the consequences would be worse.”

The team members felt that miscreants, who had some vested interest in the school management, had spread the rumours that the school was affected by “Banamati” and parents should not send their children to the school.

Prof. Gooli and Mr. Lingappa said after their visit and reassurance that there was no such thing as “Banamati” and it was only a psychological factor, the students have started attending the classes.