Schools in Navi Mumbai will remain closed today to protest the blackening of the face of principal Jose Kurien of DAV school in Nerul on Wednesday by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers. While DAV school’s teachers and parents sat on a dharna on Thursday, a rally of several Nerul schools has been planned today.
MNS workers, on the pretext of submitting a petition on better security measures in school buses, forcibly entered the principal’s cabin, blackened his face and also abused and assaulted the teachers who took them on. Six MNS men led by local leader Gajanan Kale were arrested by Seawoods police soon after the incident.
They were booked for defamation criminal trespassing, rioting, threatening and harassing a teacher. They were produced in CBD court on Thursday which remanded them to a day’s police custody. The police had asked for 14 day custody.
Academicians in the city are fed up of the regular assaults on them by political parties and want more security.
“Teachers and principals do not have any security. Education institutions should be kept away from politics. The incident took place when the classes were going on. Who would have been responsible if anything happened to children?” asked Asha Narayanan, principal of St Mary’s ICSE in school in Koperkhairne.
Principals of all Navi Mumbai schools plan to meet on Saturday to discuss security. “Given such an atmosphere, schools should compulsorily install CCTV cameras and have a police van 24X7 so that incidents like these could be avoided. Principals will discuss all these issues on Saturday, said Dr KB Kushal, director of DAV (Western region).
Ganesh Podar, principal of Podar School, Nerul, said: “We as the heads of schools are more concerned about the safety of our students. We take actions according to the order given to us by the Ministry. The manner in which the politicians have acted in this case is totally wrong and hence we have decided to show our solidarity with DAV school, Nerul.”