Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers allegedly blackened the face of Jose Kurien, principal of DAV School in Nerul on Wednesday and allegedly threatened, abused and even assaulted the teachers and damaged school furniture.
The schoolteachers bravely took on the men and the police have arrested six persons and booked them under stringent sections of the IPC.
The MNS workers led by the MNS students’ wing state general secretary, Gajanan Kale, had apparently gone to meet the principal to present a memorandum on security improvement in school buses in the wake of the death of a student in Mumbai recently.
Suresh Vedak, senior inspector of Seawoods police station, who reached the spot soon after the incident, said, “Based on CCTV footage, we gathered that they had gained entry posing as parents. On reaching the principal’s cabin, where he was holding a meeting with the teachers, they assaulted the peon and barged into his office.”
Inside, Kale and his men allegedly forced the teachers out of the office despite their protests. Kale then allegedly accused the principal of not taking any action on the school bus issue. Even as the principal tried to explain that the process was on, Kale, who had brought along black ink, allegedly splashed it on the principal’s face. Seeing this, the teachers rushed into the office and forced the men out. A teacher said, “They pushed us and assaulted us. My dupatta was also pulled away.”
The men had broken the office glass table and flower pots in the lobby, even as some shocked students looked on. Slogans were raised and teachers were abused.
Kale, who screamed and insulted teachers from outside the school gates, in full view of the media, said, “Ten days ago we had taken a morcha to the RTO office on the school bus issue, but there has been no action either by the RTO or school managements. Safety measures are still not in place.” Kale said, “It is to teach them a lesson that we blackened the principal’s face. Every school in the city is on our target list.”
Kurien said, “It was a minor issue. I believe there was an agenda behind this action. We have already started taking measures to improve the security of the buses and have informed the bus contractor accordingly.”
The angry teachers of the school struck work and gathered in support of the principal. The police have come down heavily on the MNS workers. Vedak said, “We will not tolerate such behaviour. We have ample proof and statements against the men.”