Scenes of destruction at the Short Street Montessori-cum-playschool. Pictures by Sanat Kr. Sinha
More than 50 people allegedly barged into a Montessori-cum-playschool near Park Street on Sunday afternoon, ransacked it, beat up the owner and snatched a revolver from him.
Shafique Ahmed, a caretaker of Young Minds International School, alleged that two property developers and around 50 men had forced their way into the school on Short Street around 4.30pm.
Ahmed, alias Pappu, said the men had assaulted him and the owner of the school, Ratan Lal Nahata. The gang also allegedly snatched a revolver, three mobile phones and Rs 1,700 from Nahata.
“They were carrying iron rods and firearms. They beat us up and snatched the owner’s revolver, cell phones and Rs 1,700,” Ahmed said.
The gang, he alleged, had broken flowerpots, furniture, playthings and a cage in which rabbits were kept. Many of the rabbits were seen running around when Metro reached the premises.
The group allegedly locked a few rooms that were open, pulled down an illuminated signboard bearing the school’s name at the entrance and put up a banner with a company’s name written on it.
“They wreaked havoc at our school, breaking furniture and other items and brought down the glow-sign bearing the school’s name. They then put up a board reading Heart Line Estate Private Limited,” Ahmed said.
The Montessori-cum-playschool is spread over an area of 36 cottahs and is a stone’s throw from the police commissioner’s residence and within a few hundred metres of Shakespeare Sarani police station.
Ahmed and three other employees went to Shakespeare Sarani police station in the evening but no complaint was lodged till late on Sunday. Ahmed said he and Nahata had gone to a state-run hospital to get their injuries treated.
Four students of the Serampore-based Government College of Engineering & Textile Technology, who were arrested on Saturday on charges of ragging, were released on bail on Sunday. They were arrested after a second-year student wrote to the UGC anti-ragging portal, alleging that four seniors had tortured him physically and mentally. The college will decide this week whether the quartet should be expelled or not.