Monday, November 23, 2009

Joint forces to vacate Lalgarh schools by November 30

Express News Service
Posted: Nov 24, 2009 at 0228 hrs IST

Kolkata The state government has finally decided to withdraw the joint security forces stationed at 15-odd various schools in and around Lalgarh by November 30.
“I have spoken to the West Midnapore DM who said the forces are likely to be removed from the schools by November 30,’ said Bikram Sen, principal secretary of the school education department.

Classes have been suspended for months now for more than 10,000 students who are enrolled in the 15 schools occupied by more than 40 companies of state and central reserve police since June 17 this year when the anti-Maoists operations began in the area.

“We want the security forces to be withdrawn from the schools. The secretary said it would be done by November 30,” said Krishna Bandopadhyay, a representative of Lalgarh Sanhati Mancha who submitted a deputation to the education secretary today. The outfit warned of protests if the deadline is not met.

“The security forces sometime detain students and ask if they have any information on Maoists,” alleged Sabyasachi Deb, another member of the Mancha.

Last Friday, while hearing a public interest litigation, the Calcutta High Court had asked the state government to file a status report on schools being used by security forces at Lalgarh.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, on his visit to Midnapore on November 15, had promised that all the schools would be vacated soon.

In August, the police lathi-charged students at the Bohamidanga High School for were demanding that the security forces vacate their schools.

Recently, the security forces vacated three to four classrooms in each of these schools for the students to sit for the Madhyamik examination.

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