Lucknow: Citing safety concerns, parents of at least 38 girls have stopped sending them to a school in a neighbouring village, where a student was allegedly raped last month.
The panchayat of Suma Khera village, which said they were forced to send their children to the neighbouring village as the village had only a primary school, announced an indefinite dharna till it was upgraded, even as the Opposition attacked the BJP government over the issue.
Deputy Commissioner of Rewari Yash Garg said the girls’ families stopped sending them to the government school in neighbouring Lala village, where a student was allegedly raped on April 18.
In the wake of the incident, parents got the names of their girls, studying in classes IX and XII, deleted from the school’s rolls and the panchayat concerned started demanding that the primary school in Suma Khera be upgraded to senior secondary level, he said.
The panchayat yesterday decided to launch an indefinite dharna if the state government failed to upgrade the primary school in Suma Khera even as district authorities assured them safety in Lala village, Garg said. “We have also arranged teachers in Suma Khera so that the girls’ could continue with their studies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told reporters he was hopeful of people of both villages reaching a settlement and offered to upgrade the primary school in Suma Khera to Class VIII.
The villagers, however, have turned down the offer and stand firm on their demands, the DC said. “Now state Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, along with two of his cabinet colleagues, will hold a meeting with villagers to discuss the issue,” he said. Also, families from Kotapuri village have also stopped sending their children to the government school in Lala village, Mr Garg said.
Opposition INLD today attacked the Manohar Lal Khattar government over the issue, saying it “boasts of ‘Beti-Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign for the girl child, but the sad reality is that girls are not feeling safe and parents are forced to withdraw them from schools”.
“The BJP government is not bothered about actual problems. While it speaks of Beti Bachao and teaching Gita in schools, the truth is that girls are not feeling safe and there are not enough teachers,” INLD senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala said.