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Protests by parents seeking fee reduction intensify

Protests by parents against a section of school managements here for not reducing fee despite the institutions remaining shut in view of the pandemic have intensified.

The police removed parents protesting in front of Al-Ameen Public School, Edappally, on Tuesday. The parents said that they were conducting peaceful stand-up protest by holding placards for the past 17 days demanding reduction in the tuition fee by 50%. “There was no provocation from our side, but the police tried to forcibly remove us on behalf of the management,” they said.

Mujeeb Rahman, president of the collective of parents, said that two parents were injured after the police tried to forcibly remove them. A Sub Inspector also slapped a protesting parent, he alleged.

Two arrested

The Elamakkara police arrested Mujeeb Rahman and Rasal in connection with the skirmishes between the police and protesting parents over fee hike. They were produced before the court and remanded.

The Circle Inspector of Elamakkara police station said that a case had been registered under Section 332 of the Indian Penal Code against nearly 30 persons for trying to obstruct the police from discharging their duties. On the allegation that a Sub Inspector had assaulted a protester, the official said that he was not aware of it.

Management’s stand

Siyad Kokker, manager of the school, said that the management was not in a position to accept the demand by parents to reduce the fee by 50%.

“We have to pay the salary for nearly 200 teaching and non-teaching staff despite not having regular classes,” he said.

On whether the police action was based on the complaint filed by the management, Mr. Kokker said that the High Court had granted police protection to the school based on its request.

The united forum of parents at Toc H Public School, Vyttila, said that they would not pay fee until they get a favourable fee reduction. K. Varghese, Manager, said that no decision had been taken on the demand by parents. “It has been postponed to next week,” he said.

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