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
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.