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Since 1st March, 1999
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Headmaster ‘attacked’

Malda, May 13: An alleged assault on the headmaster of a school in Gajole by members of the DSO and the All India Students’ Association protesting hike in admission fees sparked a battle between the agitators and the students of the institution.

The headmaster of Gajole High School, Kalisadhan Roy, said 25 school students were injured while trying to protect him from members of the DSO, the student wing of the SUCI, and AISA, an apolitical organisation. Several hundred school students later set up a road blockade in front of the institution, 35km from here, to protest against the attack.

Trouble broke out at 10.30am when members of the two organisations gheraoed Roy, demanding that admissions to Class V be deferred till the fee hike issue was resolved. However, when the headmaster tried to explain that he was scheduled to sit with the guardians of the students at 2pm to discuss the issue, the agitators allegedly roughed him up. As word spread, several hundred students attacked the agitators and a free for all ensued. A shaken Roy said: “I have been in this profession for 40 years but I had never thought that I would be beaten up by my former students. My current students rushed to protect me.”

The officer-in-charge of Gajole police station, Santanu Mitra, said he had received a complaint from the school authorities that did not name any one in particular.

Gautam Sarkar, a DSO leader, and Manbendra Roy of the AISA have denied the allegations of assault. “Our members have been implicated in a false case. The government had fixed Rs 63 as the maximum amount for admission but the school is charging Rs 265. We are protesting against this,” Sarkar said.

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