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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cloned books spur stir

Parents of primary students of Narbheram Hansraj English School in Bistupur were shocked on Wednesday when a vendor handed them a photocopy of an English book meant for classes II, III and IV and demanded Rs 35 for the incomplete 40-page tome.

Like every year, parents had reached the school campus on Wednesday evening to purchase books for the next academic session. The school authorities had permitted Sidhgora-based Unique Books to set up stalls to sell textbooks prescribed by the school.

However, it was soon found out that photocopied books with stapled pages were being sold at the stalls. Parents were further infuriated when they realised that three books — Active English by Oxford University Press, Deep Manika by Saraswati House Pvt. Ltd and Vyakaran Leher by Sapphire India Pvt. Ltd — were being sold at prices higher than what was printed.

“We don’t think this is a book at all. It is a photocopy of some other textbook without the cover. The book starts from Page 3 and ends with Page 42. There are three other books sold at high prices. While Active English is being sold at Rs 144 instead of Rs 119, Vyakaran Leher is being sold at Rs 194 and not Rs 110,” claimed Abhay Kumar, a parent of a Class IV student.

While Randhir Kumar Singh of Unique Books said the photocopy order had come from the school, principal Paromita Roychoudhury dubbed it “some misunderstanding” and promised to refund money.