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With AR Yet To Pack Up, Classrooms Wear Deserted Looks

With their classrooms taken over by AR, kids ferry passengers. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Apr 20: Students in Karang Lower Primary School and Khoidum Leihao Junior High School under Bishnupur district have not been able to have normal classes for a long with no sign of 33 Assam Rifles moving out from occupying their schools. In such a situation, instead of finding them in their class rooms, the students are involving themselves in motor boat service of ferrying people across Loktak Lake.

A media team today visited the school for inspection and found it still occupied by 33 Assam Rifles.

Interacting with the media team, villagers of the surrounding area informed that 33 Assam Rifles set up their post in the Lower Primary School at Karang as well as in the nearby Khoidum Leihao Junior High School, an aided school, since April 2004. There used to around 40 students in the Karang Lower Primary School and around 174 students in Khoidum Leihao Junior High School. But the attendance of the students in these two schools has come down since the occupation of the Assam Rifles, the villagers disclosed.

The media team witnessed that the room being served as kitchen for cooking the Mid-day Meal at Karang Lower Primary School too has been converted the godown of occupying security personnel.

It may be noted here that in a direction issued in April, 2010, the Supreme Court asked the State Governments concerned for vacating the security forces from occupying educational institutions like schools, college, etc.

For going Karang from Thanga, the media team had to take the help of the motor boat service being operated by two young boys.

During the course of interaction with these two boys, it came to light that both of them are students of Khoidum Leihao Junior High School. One of them is a student of class IV while the other is studying in class III.

In a place like Karang, the students can hope to study till class VIII. For admission to class IX, they have to go other places.  With most of the families living on fishing activities from Loktak Lake and the meager income earned from selling their prized catches, not many parents could afford to send their children for further studies.

When the media team visited the office of ZEO Bishnupur in connection with continued Army occupation over Karang Lower Primary School, officials of the office disclosed a survey had been conducted from the side of the Department in 2010. But nothing had happened after that. Officials of the Social Welfare, Bishnupur too corroborated that no steps have been taken up from the side of the Department to vacant the Army from occupying the school.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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