When students of a government school on the outskirts of Bengaluru returned after their Dasara holidays, they were shocked to find their school gone. All that remained of it is heavily damaged concrete flooring.
The Mahadeva Kodigehalli Lower Primary Government school, located about 10km from the Kempegowda International Airport was allegedly demolished by a group of unknown people on Sunday night.
Shivanna, the father of one of the students said that the debris from the demolition had also been taken away to another spot 3km away.
"With 14 students, studying from class 1 to class 5, it was the only government school for the children in the village. Currently operations of the school have been shifted to another building, which is owned by the school," he said.
According to Shivanna, who is also the president of School Development Monitoring Committee, the land measuring 1 acre and 25 guntas, on which the school stood, was donated in 1994 by a man called Munibairappa.
â€śHe was inspired by the Vinoba Bhave Bhoodan movement in 1951,â€ť Shivanna said.
The Bhoodan movement was a voluntary land redistribution movement, aimed at getting wealthy landowners to voluntarily give a fraction of their land to the landless people. This donated land was not saleable.
Munibairappa passed away in 1998, says Shivanna,
â€śIn 2001, the school with two classrooms was built. This was an extension to the school that already existed. This extension even provided a playground for the children,â€ť he said.
However, he alleged, relatives of Munibairappa, who claim to have documents indicating ownership in their names, have sold the land to another person. â€śWe were not even notified about this,â€ť he said.
A complaint has been lodged at the Bagalur police station against unknown persons for demolishing the building.
An official at the Bagalur police station said, â€śThe complainant has alleged that Munibairappaâ€™s relatives have sold the land to some person and that person has gone ahead with the demolition. But we need to see more documents belonging to the school to say anything concrete. We are also trying to find the people who demolished the buildings.â€ť
Shivanna said that according to documents produced, Ramakrishna, who is the son of Munibairappa, has sold the land to a person named Maruthi. â€śThis came too our notice on Saturday, October 22. However, we thought that it could be discussed on Monday, when the school reopened. But the school itself was razed overnight by some unknown people on Sunday,â€ť said Shivanna.
Block Education Officer (Yelahanka zone), Srinivas, told The News Minute that the demolition of the school was illegal. â€śWe have documents to prove that it is a school land. The government had given a grant to build the school based on the RTC and Gift-land document (Bhoodan). However, we have to look into how the person managed to get a Khata of the land made in his name,â€ť he said.