LUCKNOW: Such shock still prevails in Umbha village of Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra— witness to mindless massacre of tribal’s recently — that children of the region are shunning school at Murtiya, the village of the main accused.
The killing of ten Gond tribals and injuries to 26 at Umbha village under Ghorawal police station in the indiscriminate firing over a land dispute on July 17, still gives them the shivers.
Parents too are not willing to send children to the lone upper primary school, two kilometers away at Murtiya — the village of Gram Pradhan Yagya Dutt and 18 of his co-accused. It was Dutt’s henchmen who had unleashed the violence to evict the Gond’s and take possession of 90 bigha land which tribal’s cultivate.
The school at Murtiya village is the only option for the tribal children as Umbha has no upper primary school. Education department officials agreed that attendance of kids had dropped considerably since the incident.
Of the over 60 children enrolled, only about a half turned up.
“The education department and the district administration have tried to instill confidence among parents and kids but the fear still affects them,” said an official. Some kids alleged residents of Murtiya picked on them to harass too.
The UP government, meanwhile, issued directives to the district administration to open two residential schools for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes girls and boys separately under Ghorawal police station area.
The girls’ school will be constructed at Ghorawal, Pargana Barhar; and the boys’ school will come up in Pargana Searia of Robertsganj, as per the new directives issued to Sonbhadra district administration by the chief secretary’s office.
The proposed schools would be on the lines of Centre-run Navodaya Vidyalayas.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced that his government would be setting up the schools during his visit to the district after the massacre.
The UP Commission for Protection of Child Rights (UPPCR) directed Sonbhadra district magistrate to submit a report on the situation.