State: FIR on 32 for vandalism at tribal school site

Ranchi: As many as 32 persons were booked in connection to demolition of a boundary wall of an upcoming residential school project funded by Union government and widespread vandalism in violation of covid-19 protocols in Ranchi’s Silagai area under Chanho block in Ranchi on Monday.

A communiqué issued from the Ranchi district administration in early hours of Tuesday stated that the protestors and demonstrators went rogue ignoring warnings of the local administration forcing authorities to lodge FIR at Chanho police station.

“FIR has been lodged against 32 persons in connection to vandalism, attempted assault on police officials despite trying to pacify them, and objecting to an ongoing government work. At around 2pm, a strong mob of protestors also demolished boundary wall of an upcoming residential school in the area. Despite covid restrictions in force banning mass gatherings/processions, thousands of protestors hit to the street,” read a statement from the district IPRD department.

Union tribal affairs ministry is coming up with Eklavya Vidhyalaya in the native village of tribal freedom fighter Veer Budhu Bhagat in Chanho. This will be a residential English medium school exclusively for the tribal students.

A section of local adivasis however are objecting to this project accusing the district administration of undertaking the project without consultation of gram sabha and that the site where the school is proposed will endanger the village of their tribal icon. As part of their ongoing protests, strong mob of tribals took out bike rally and later resorted to vandalism yesterday, picture of which had gone viral on social media.

Talking to reporters, Bandhu Tirkey, Mandar MLA under whose region the school falls, had dubbed the protest as an attempt to fan unrest in his area and defame his constituency. Tirkey hails from the Congress while BJP is in power in the Centre. But despite political differences, Tirkey has been supporting this project as he believed that an English medium residential school will only benefit the local adivasi children.

A view of mob allegedly demolishing the boundary wall of the school. TNF picture