SAD councillor, 11 parents arrested as they try to lock up school gates

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: May 20, 2016 13:46 IST
Akali councillor Kanwaljit Singh Karwal being taken away from Guru Harkrishan Public School in a police vehicle. (Sikander Singh Chopra/HT Photo)

High drama was witnessed at the gates of Guru Harkrishan Public School as Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal and 11 parents were arrested by the police after they tried to lock the gates of the school on Wednesday.

The councillor and his supporters along with the parents association were protesting against the school over the imposition of fee hike and developmental charges by the school.

The protest has been continuing for the past one month against the school in Shimlapuri.

As soon as the protesters tried to lock down the school, the police present at the site immediately stopped the protesters and arrested them for breach of peace and tranquility of an area under the preventive measures. Karwal, along with others, was taken to the civil hospital for medical examination where high voltage drama unfolded.

A large number of supporters of Karwal reached the civil hospital where police force was deployed to stop the situation from going out of control. After the medical examination that continued for nearly two hours, Karwal and others arrested were produced at the district court.

The drama did not end here. As soon as the councilor, alongwith the arrested parents, were taken to court, they refused to apply for bail. The police then locked them all in a bus which was stationed at the district court.

“Why should I apply for bail? These parents have been protesting for so long but nothing ever happens. The school is charging Rs 1,400 for swimming pool, how is it justified? Besides, they charge 15 percent every year as developmental charges. If we are bailed out, the protest will end and our voices will not be heard,” said Karwal while he was arrested.

He added that he does not want bail that would prove as that what they did was just for show off.

He further said protests against school management that has hiked the fee would continue even in future so that parents of children studying there do not suffer.

Attacking the MLA Bains brothers, Karwal said that both the brothers Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains were not fighting for the actual issues of the people “but only highlighting their own politics. Both the brothers are only eyeing the elections and not raising voice against actual issues”.

Sanjeev Kapoor, station house officer at Shimlapuri police station, said that 12 persons were arrested for preventative measures under section 107/ 751 of CrPC. The bail procedures were in progress at the time of filing of the report.

School levying Rs 1,400 as swimming pool charges

It was the imposition of charges for use of swimming pool worth Rs 1400 per month besides others that led to the month-long protest by parents against the Guru Har Krishan Public School and New Janta Nagar School leading to the high voltage drama. Parents also alleged the school management arranged their meeting with a fake ‘DEO’ yesterday at the school premises.

The parents were demanding the school authorities to implement the deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat’s orders to reduce development charges by 30% and increase tuition fee by 5% but the school authorities have failed to do so.

Simran Kapoor, a parent said, “The school is charging development charges and every year, they are increasing the fee by 15 per cent. All parents have submitted a memorandum to the DC to take action against the school. Both my kids are suspended last week as we have not submitted the school fee and other charges. One is studying in Class 9 and other one is Class 4. Even they were harassed in their classes’ everyday for not submitting the fee in the school. The school authorities are turning education services into business as every month they are charging Rs 1,400 per month from every child for providing swimming pool services.”

Kapoor said, “On Wednesday, three people impersonating as the staff from DEO office were caught offering help to the school management and were later handed over to the police. For routine checking, staff from DEO office went to the school in the morning and again in the evening three people posing from DEO office went to the school and extended help to school management by negotiating with parents.

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