Pune: The schools in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, which are members of Independent English Schools Association (IESA), observed black day on Friday, to condemn the manhandling of Principal and President of Pragati English Medium School in Dhanori.
The principal-trustee, some teachers, parents and other members were allegedly manhandled by the police a couple of days ago during an anti-encroachment drive against illegal construction by the school. Around 80 schools in Pune and 140 in Pimpri-Chinchwad participated in the protest by putting up signboards outside the gates and staff members tied black ribbons.
Jagruti Dharmadhikari of IESA said that manhandling of the teachers was wrong, and if the police had found the school authorities guilty, they should have taken legal recourse.
In a statement, IESA Maharashtra team said, “The corporation sent the school a notice about the illegal construction and asked them to demolish it within one month or else they will demolish it and school will have to pay the charges The school leaders sent corporation the reply. Till 24th, no notice or letter was received and on July 24, the illegal construction demolition squad arrived. The principal-trustee requested authorities to wait till 12:30 pm, as the authorities reached there at 11:30 am without intimation. So obviously, her concern was for the students’ security.”
IESA has also alleged that while as per law, the police force accompanying the squad is for protection of its members, a gazetted officer attacked and beat up parents, trustees, staff members and housekeeping staff of the school ruthlessly.
Dharmadhikari said that IESA members had a meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Rashmi Shukla, who assured enquiry will be done by August 2. If not, IESA will resume its protest.