BENGALURU: As many as 100 young schoolchildren are being made to pay a heavy price for no fault of theirs. These students of the Government Higher Primary School at Mahadevapura were forced to sit in the open to attend classes as the land on which the school is located is under litigation.
Some individuals stormed the school premises on Saturday and told the teachers not to come there from Monday (January 23). They came to the school on Sunday too though it was closed, and locked the classrooms. This forced the children to sit in an open ground outside the classrooms on Monday. However, it was only after the police intervened that the students were allowed to sit inside the classrooms on Tuesday.
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The Education Department and some private individuals have locked horns over the land which is located near the posh ITPL area in Bengaluru. The land, which falls under Mahadevapura village of KR Pura Hobli, close to Phoenix Mall on Whitefield Main Road measures 89 X 74 feet, and its value is said to be around Rs 15 crore.
The building has seven rooms, toilets and other facilities. The Kannada medium Government Higher Primary School was started in 1964 and runs classes for 4th, 5th and 6th standard students. In 2018, Hope Foundation constructed a new school building -- Karnataka Public School -- in which the medium of instruction is English and is just a km away from the old building.
However, children studying in the Kannada medium school continued in the old place. Sources from the Education Department said that though they have a new building, they are not keen on shifting these children as they fear they might lose the property.
“If we completely shift to the new building, this property where the school is functioning for the last 50 years will be acquired by someone,” the sources said.
Education Department officials claim that the land was donated by one D Puttappa in the early 60s. Later, it was acquired by the Industry Department and as per the latest land records, it belongs to the KIADB. Trouble started when a few individuals went to a civil court claiming that the land belongs to them. They even appealed to the court to issue a permanent injunction.
The court, however, told both the parties to maintain status quo and decided to hold the next hearing on February 4. Speaking to TNIE, Block Education Officer DR Ramamurthy said that since the court has ordered status quo, they (who went to court) should have allowed the school to run.