The principal of the Government Pre-University College for Girls in Ijarilakmapur, Haveri district, Karnataka, K Krishnappa, is facing severe criticism for allegedly allowing students to participate in the “Veera Savarkar Samsarane” program, honoring freedom fighter Veer Savarkar. Bharatiya Janata Party leader KS Eshwarappa and his son Kanthesh were present at the private function. The Karnataka education administration has taken notice of the issue and is poised to take disciplinary action against Principal K Krishnappa.
Department officials disclosed that on December 12, the institution was inspected by Ritesh Kumar Singh, the principal secretary of the school education and literacy department, and Akshaya Sridhar, the chief executive officer of the Haveri district panchayat. The inspection revealed a significant drop in attendance, prompting inquiries. It was discovered that around ninety-five pupils were absent as they were engaged in group practice for the “Veera Savarkar Samsarane,” scheduled for December 17.
Principal Secretary Ritesh expressed strong disapproval of the situation and instructed the CEO of the Zilla Panchayat to provide the education department with a comprehensive report. An official cited the report, stating, “Principal K Krishnappa exhibited negligence by allowing female students to participate in private events outside the educational programs organised by the department.”
The deputy director of the Pre-University Board Haveri, Umeshappa, confirmed that the Principal Secretary had received a report on the incident, revealing that students participated in the program’s rehearsal without prior knowledge.
Adding to the controversy, allegations surfaced that K Krishnappa secured the principal role in 2021 by fabricating evidence during an ongoing disciplinary department investigation. On September 29, 2023, the School Education and Literacy agency revoked his promotion based on department representatives’ findings.
On November 20, the deputy director of the pre-graduate education department instructed Krishnappa to report to the school education department in Bangalore and transfer management of Ijarilakamapura College to a senior lecturer. Krishnappa continued as the principal until his resignation on December 17.
Questions have arisen in the district regarding the timing of Krishnappa’s dismissal, coinciding with female pupils’ participation in the “Veera Savarkar Samsmarane” program.
Umeshappa clarified, “I have submitted a report to the higher authorities of the education department regarding the students sent for the Savarkar program, which is not an academic program.” He alleged that K Krishnappa’s demotion and release from duty had nothing to do with the Savarkar program.
Principal Secretary Ritesh Kumar addressed the situation, stating they have received the report and are thoroughly investigating the matter. Meanwhile, Madhu Bangarappa, the Minister of Primary Education, pledged strict measures, emphasising a commitment to children’s welfare.
Haveri District Youth Congress President Prasanna Hiremath claimed, “The principal violated norms by sending students to non-academic programs; the department officials have already initiated a probe and sent a report.”
K. E. Kanthesh, the honorary president of Rashtra Bhakta Balaga, the organising outfit, asserted that the principal’s demotion was unrelated to students’ participation in the Savarkar commemoration program. He defended the event, stating it involved over 600 schoolchildren without disrupting their classes.
Despite these statements, Principal K Krishnappa insisted on his innocence, maintaining that he had no knowledge of students being present at the practice, emphasising their participation occurred beyond official class hours, which concluded at noon.