Chaos prevailed at one of the oldest and prestigious private schools in Patiala on Saturday after teachers alleged they were manhandled and threatened with firearms by security men attached to a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.
The whole drama at Modern Senior Secondary School vice-principal's office began when a group of teachers barged into the room of vice-principal Harcharan Kaur Bhatia to protest against the management's proposed move to sell the school to a New Delhi-based contractor. The teachers alleged that the realtor had plans to develop a residential colony there.
"The IPS officer was sitting in principal's chair when we entered the room. As we were expressing our resentment to the vice-principal, the gunmen of the officer misbehaved with us. They even brandished their pistols. We all fled the spot immediately," said a schoolteacher on the condition of anonymity.
It was learnt that the IPS officer, a former SSP of Patiala, was trying to protect the management from the ire of the teachers and the parents of the school students.
"The management has not paid our dues for the last many months. They are all set to sell the school," said another teacher.
School bursar Mohan Singh, however, dismissed these fears. He said the reports of sale of the school were baseless and were mere rumours. He also denied any manhandling of the women teachers by the staff of the police officer.
Later, the agitating staff held a dharna outside the school.
Meanwhile, the parents-teachers association of the school has decided to meet chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to seek his intervention in the matter.
Established in 1948, the school runs under the aegis of Saraswati Vidyak Trust.