The Byculla police on Thursday morning detained parents of students of St Peter's School in Mazgoan for a signature campaign against a fee hike.
A group of 20 parents were detained for four hours at the police station. The parents have been protesting against the monthly fee hike of Rs 500 since Sunday. Parents said they had got permission from the police. "Last night we were granted a verbal permission by a senior police official to conduct the signature campaign and we have a receipt that states that the police received our letter," said Viren Kapadia (name changed), a parent, who was detained.
But barely 20 minutes into the campaign, police reached the school and said that the receipt was insufficient and parents needed a written letter of permission. Angry parents feel that their fundamental right to peaceful protest has been violated. "They forced us into a police van though we told them that we will go peacefull with them. In the van, they threatened us and told us to stop our campaign," said Salim Shaikh, another parent.
The principal of the school, B. Robins, refused to comment on the issue. Jayant Jain, President of the Forum for Fairness in Education, who is helping the parents said, "The parents were not damaging public property or harming human lives, they were peacefully asking other parents, who felt wronged by the fee hike, to sign their petition."
DCP Zone 3 Suhas Warke said: “I am not aware of the matter. Please contact the senior police inspector of Byculla police station.” When contacted, Senior PI Tukaram Godge said there was no arrest made but refused to comment on the detention.