Thursday, April 09, 2009

School blown up, 700 pupils left in the lurch

9 Apr 2009, 0603 hrs IST, Uttam Mukherjee, TNN

LOHARDAGA: About 700 students in Lohardaga are left in the lurch. Project High at Makka village has been shut down for indefinite period after
Sunday's attack by Maoists who razed two school buildings. The few classrooms which survived are in too crumbly to hold classes.

And with the district administration bogged down with poll arrangements, there's no quick solution in sight. "With the Lok Sabha polls knocking at the door, I'm too tied down. We'll make arrangements only after the polls are over," district collector M P Sinha said. No one from the education department is yet to visit the site of ruins.

The school have hundreds of students, mainly tribals, hailing from over a dozen villages, including Makka, Bariyatu, Lavapur and many more.

The villagers, whose children study in the school, are extremely sore. "We are very poor and somehow we try to give education to our children. Now with Maoists blowing up the school, we have become poorer," said Ganesh Bhuiyan a villager from Makka.

Lohardaga SP Subodh Prasad, who led a raid party in the area, visited the school on Monday. "Villagers are unhappy with the Maoists. They have shown anger against and have decided to oppose them. They also want a police picket at Makka," he said.

"This is an attack on the villagers' dreams. We all must condemn the act," added the SP. He said the villagers understood that the Naxals have no principle. "All they want is create terror and collect levy. Many villagers shouted anti-Naxal slogans and promised to take part in the coming elections," he added.

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