Staff Correspondent: The High Court (HC) has taken into cognizance an allegation that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), an organisation for Hindu community, has forced students of schools in Chattogram to recite a mantra ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama’ and take ‘prasad’.
Advocate Taimur Alam Khandaker placed the issue before an HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader on Thursday.
A report published in this regard in Bangla daily Inqilab was read out in the court.
Advocate Taimur told the court that: “Constitution does not support imposing beliefs and customs of a religion on another religion.”
In response, the court told that: “An NGO can distribute foods in schools but it will be unfair if the students are forced or tempted to take ‘prasad’. But, we do not want to interfere into any religious issue. Earlier, we did not interfere into the holy Shab-e-barat”.
The court also asked the advocate to place complaints to the managing committee of the schools and local administration.
According to the report published in Bangla daily Inqilab on July 18, ISKCON has allegedly distributed ‘prasad’ among students of different schools in Chattogram. Since July 11, the organisation has been distributing ‘prasad’ among the students of around 30 schools of the port city in the name of weeklong programme titled ‘Food for life’ on the occasion of Ratha Yatra, the festival of chariot of Sri Jagannath Dev, one of the major festivals of the Hindu community. The students take ‘prasad’ after reciting a mantra ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama’ following the instruction of ISKCON activists. Students of other religions refuse to take ‘prasad’ reciting the mantra ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama’.
risingbd/Dhaka/July 18, 2019/Mehedi/AI