Land sharks steal property papers, threaten to close school

Officials lodge complaint with Banaswadi police; student strength drops from 650 to 80 in 2 years.

A 28-year-old school functioning on a BDA site in Lingarajapuram, near Banaswadi, is facing trouble from land grabbers. The 1.2 acre site, worth Rs 45 crore, was allotted to the school in 1988/89. Land grabbers are creating problems near the school and they have also ransacked the premises. They have escaped with the BDA documents and other papers pertaining to the property. They are also alleged to have been camping in the nearby slums and asking parents not to send their children to the school saying it is on the verge of closure.

The Maruthi Kannada and Tamil Primary School, located at BDA ‘A’ Block near the Housing Board Colony in Lingarajapuram, is facing trouble since the last few days. In order to disturb the environment, the accused are dumping garbage in front of the school and are also indulging in noisy fights. “The school strength, which consisted of about 650 students, has drastically reduced to 80 in the last two years. There are as many as 19 schools, both aided and unaided in the locality, and only we are providing free education to students. We concentrate in providing free education to slum children as they are not in a position to pay exorbitant fees. By giving unnecessary trouble, the land grabbers want to leave the school with no children and have it shut down. If the school goes defunct and if the required number of students does not exist, the BDA can take over the leased land with permission from the concerned department,” said M Rajanna, the school secretary.

The school’s lease period is said to be of 30 years which ends in the next two years. If the school does not have the required strength, then the BDA can withdraw the lease period and take back its land, which is the main intention of the land grabbers. The accused have also barged into the school premises a few days back in the absence of the students, faculty and the management, and have stolen the BDA property documents.

“The accused have taken away the school records and have also destroyed the furniture, telephone and other valuables. Even the teaching faculty is afraid to come to school. The matter has been reported to the jurisdictional Banaswadi police. If the land grabbers are successful in their effort, the very purpose of providing free education to children from poor families gets defeated. We are trying to convince those parents, who have withdrawn their children from the school, to start resending their children,” Rajanna added.

A case of trespass and mischief has been registered. The details of the accused are being verified and the case is being investigated, the Banaswadi police said.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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