Mangaluru: On Saturday, at the University College campus in Mangaluru, Dr. Shamsul Islam, a retired Associate Professor of Political Science from the University of Delhi, unveiled posters containing the names of four significant incidents in the state and the names of 132 martyrs from Karnataka who participated in the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. This event was organized as part of the 'BV Kakkilaya Inspired Oration for 2023' on the topic of "Joint Martyrdoms, Joint Heritage of 1857 War of Independence" by the BV Kakkilaya Foundation.

The names of these martyrs were compiled by Dr. Islam from the 'Dictionary of Martyrs: India's Freedom Struggle 1857-1947' and included those who participated in battles at Nargund, Koppal Fort, Halagali, and Surapur in Karnataka.

During his oration, Dr. Islam emphasized that paying tribute to martyrs is a way of showing respect to Mother India. He stressed the importance of acknowledging and discussing the contributions of these martyrs, stating that failing to do so sends a negative message. Dr. Islam also touched upon the principles of the Rashtriya Swayamseva Sangh (RSS), asserting that they were against both the nation and humanity.

"The person who assassinated the Father of the Nation was neither a Pakistani nor an agent of the IS. Gandhiji was assassinated by a person who impersonated a fake sense of nationalism," he asserted.

Prior to Dr. Islam's lecture, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), who are students of the University College, staged a protest against the lecture alleging the lecture aimed to propagate leftist philosophy among college students. The protesters carried placards with messages like "Go Back Shamsul" and "Save UCM." There were attempts by the ABVP members to confront Dr. Shamsul Islam and Prof. Keshavan Veluthat, a retired Professor of Mangalore University and historian, as they arrived at the venue. Tight police security was provided on the University College campus, and Prof. Veluthat was escorted to the stage by law enforcement officers.

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Rajkot (PTI): Main markets in Gujarat's Rajkot city wore a deserted look and various other establishments remained closed on Tuesday as a bandh was observed to mark one month of the fire tragedy at a game zone which claimed 27 lives.

Schools, colleges, tuition centres, gold and jewellery markets and other commercial establishments also remained shut to support the 'Rajkot bandh' called by the opposition Congress.

Several commercial associations supported the Congress' bandh call by announcing closure of their businesses for the day.

Police personnel were deployed at different places in the city and patrolling was intensified as part of the security arrangements to avoid any untoward incident.

Congress MLA Jignesh Mevani, state party president Shaktisinh Gohil and other local leaders came out in different areas of Rajkot to thank businessmen for their support in making the bandh "successful".

The Congress gave the call for a half-day bandh on Tuesday, to remember those who lost their lives in the fire tragedy at the TRP game zone in Rajkot on May 25 and to demand a higher compensation to the kin of the deceased.

It has also demanded justice to the families of the deceased and a fair probe into the incident by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the state government.

Family members of the victims had also appealed for the bandh. Relatives of some of the fire tragedy victims interacted with Congress MP Rahul Gandhi through video conference on June 22.

Twenty seven persons, including children, were charred to death in the massive fire which gutted the game zone on May 25.

Following the incident, the state government formed the SIT under Additional Director General of Police Subhash Trivedi to find out the causes of fire, loopholes in the system and to suggest steps to be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.

As many as 15 persons have been arrested so far in connection with the fire tragedy, including five owners of the game zone and some senior officials from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC).

A police investigation indicated the game zone was running without a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the RMC's fire department.

On June 15, Congress workers organised a protest gathering outside the city police commissioner's office.