20 hostages butchered in Dhaka, IS be­hind at­tack Aspiring phys­ios to study Ramayana, Ma­hab­harata SYL­LABUS BY THE PM’S YOGA GURU

TER­ROR STRIKE Most vic­tims for­eign­ers; those able to re­cite Qu­ranic verses spared

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Nee­lam Pandey nee­lam.pandey@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dent htmetro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Is­lamist mil­i­tants armed with sharp weapons slaugh­tered 20 peo­ple, in­clud­ing a young In­dian woman, at an up­scale café in Dhaka be­fore gov­ern­ment forces stormed the build­ing to end a 12-hour stand-off on Satur­day.

The Is­lamic State (IS) said it was re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack, but that claim has yet to be con­firmed by Dhaka which has in the past de­nied the pres­ence of the group on its soil.

Hours be­fore the gov­ern­ment con­firmed the fatal­i­ties, IS’s news agency Amaq said 20 hostages, mostly for­eign­ers, had been killed. It also posted pho­tos of bod­ies and blood smeared across floors that it said were dead for­eign­ers at the pop­u­lar Ho­ley Ar­ti­san Bak­ery. In­dian and west­ern in­tel­li­gence agen­cies told Hin­dus­tan Times the at­tack was car­ried out by the IS’s Bangladeshi mod­ule.

Among those killed was Tar­ishi Jain, 19, whose fam­ily moved to Dhaka about 20 years ago, and who was on a break from classes at Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley.

For­eign min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “Ex­tremely pained to share that the ter­ror­ists have killed Tarushi, an In­dian girl who was taken hostage in the ter­ror at­tack in Dhaka,” us­ing a dif­fer­ent spell­ing for the vic­tim’s name. An­other In­dian na­tional, a doc­tor iden­ti­fied only as Satya­pal, had a lucky es­cape af­ter he spoke Ben­gali and posed Se­cu­rity per­son­nel take po­si­tions on top of ar­moured ve­hi­cles be­fore storm­ing the Ho­ley Ar­ti­san Bak­ery where mil­i­tants took hostages dur­ing a siege that ended 12 hours later.

as a Bangladeshi, sources said.

Re­ports quoted sur­vivors as say­ing the mil­i­tants told lo­cals to stay out of the way, and hacked and butchered those who couldn’t re­cite from the Qu­ran. One of the at­tack­ers cursed a diner for sit­ting with non-Mus­lims dur­ing Ramzan.

Ali Ar­salan, co-owner of the restau­rant lo­cated in Dhaka’s diplo­matic area, said his staff told him the at­tack­ers yelled “Al­lahu Ak­bar” (God is Great) as they stormed the build­ing around 9pm on Fri­day.

Aspiring phys­io­ther­a­pists will have to study In­dian epics and Hindu scrip­tures as part of their bach­e­lors pro­gramme un­der a univer­sity syl­labus pre­pared by a panel headed by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s yoga guru.

The syl­labus ap­proved by the Ayush min­istry in­cludes epics such Ramayana and Ma­hab­harata, the re­li­gious trea­tise Bhagavad Gita and Narad Bhakti Su­tras, a col­lec­tion of re­li­gious dis­courses by the mytho­log­i­cal wan­der­ing sage Narada.

The Sm­riti Irani-led hu­man re­source devel­op­ment min­istry has also asked the Univer­sity Grants Com­mis­sion (UGC) to look into the pos­si­bil­ity of giv­ing pref­er­ence in ad­mis­sion to grad­u­ate cour­ses in phys­io­ther­apy to stu­dents who have req­ui­site ex­per­tise in yoga.

The gov­ern­ment’s move could po­ten­tially in­vite a back­lash by crit­ics who ac­cuse the BJP regime at the Cen­tre of try­ing to saf­fro­nise ed­u­ca­tion.

Ever since com­ing to power in May last year, the BJP-led NDA gov­ern­ment has set about what it calls a re­form of the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem by fo­cus­ing on In­dia’s cul­ture and her­itage in­stead of eu­golis­ing peo­ple which it con­sid­ers in­vaders.

Three peo­ple died and five oth­ers were in­jured in a boiler ex­plo­sion in­side the Rashtriya Chem­i­cals and Fer­tilis­ers (RCF) com­pany at Chem­bur on Satur­day evening. The in­ci­dent, po­lice said, took place when the boil­ers were un­der­go­ing main­te­nance work around 4.30pm.

Ac­cord­ing to peo­ple present at the site, there was a deaf­en­ing noise af­ter one of the boliers ex­ploded, leav­ing sev­eral peo­ple in­jured.

While the dead were iden­ti­fied as Dilip Pawar, Govind Ku­mar and Mehmood Noor Mo­ham­mad, the in­jured — Sayyad Sadiq, Jayshankar Sharma, Rahul Shinde, Shashikant Dalvi and Ravin­dra Kam­ble — were taken to the RCF hos­pi­tal, which is lo­cated on the premises of the com­pany.

Apart from Shinde, all oth­ers are con­tract labour­ers, po­lice said.

“As per the pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion re­ceived from the lo­cal po­lice sta­tion, main­te­nance work was un­der­way when the in­ci­dent took place,” said Ashok Dudhe, deputy com­mis­sioner and Mum­bai po­lice spokesper­son.

The ini­tial probe re­vealed that the ex­plo­sion took place in the boiler num­ber 2, but the rea­sons were not known till the time of go­ing to press. Of­fi­cials said the boil­ers gen­er­ated steam and would un­dergo main­te­nance once ev­ery year, fol­low­ing which an in­spec­tor would con­duct checks and sub­mit a fit­ness re­port.


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