Land seized from the NGO running the Kanksa school

The Kanksa school food poisoning case has now turned into a political fighting between Trinamool Congress and CPI (M). The district administration has seized the government land possessed by Bikalpa – the CPI (M) backed NGO which runs the residential school, Pandit Raghunath Murmu Memorial School in Kanksa near Durgapur.

rail-station-durgapur
Durgapur

It may be recalled, that on 24th March Archana Hembram, a nine-year-old girl of the residential school meant for tribal students died of food poisoning and 56 others were to be admitted in hospital after they became seek on having midday meal in a school. Arrest warrants were issued against six persons engaged directly or indirectly with the running of the school. The list of accused includes two veteran CPI (M) district committee leaders, Mr. Parashnath Tiwari and Mr. Kabilal Maddi, principal of the boarding tribal school Mrs. Susmita Pathak and three cooks engaged by the NGO Bikalpa, that has been running the school since 2004 with the help of Central funds.
However all the accused were granted bail by the ACJM court in Durgapur after they surrendered before the court on 26th March. The state government meanwhile had ordered a two-fold probe in the case.
Immediately after the incident of Kanksa school food poisoning, Trinamool Congress alleged that the incident had occurred due to the NGO’s negligence, and was asking for its removal from running the government-sponsored school. Not only that, nearly 50 women led by Sabita Banerjee, the head of the women’s wing of Trinamool in Kanksa, began protests outside the school campus, demanding a thorough probe. Even the school secretary was heckled by some Trinamool supporters when he went to the Durgapur hospital to meet the some of the students today, forcing him to leave.
The locals, meanwhile, alleged that the NGO was in unauthorized possession of 25 acres of state land since 2003 and had been using four acres for cultivation purposes without government permission. The district administration received written complaints on the matter in November last year. DM, Burdwan, Mr. Onkar S Meena, said: “Field verification and notice under section 49 (1) A of the West Bengal Land Revenue Act were issued to the NGO.
Four acres of state land in plot No 423/1359 & JL No 39 at Raghunathpur was seized yesterday as it was a vested land and was occupied unauthorized.” The land would be used for agricultural purposes officials said. The DM said, “The unauthorized transfer of state land by the bodies across the district will be scrutinized.”
CPI (M) district committee members of the NGO meanwhile alleged that it is totally politically motivated to malign them so as to take control of the NGO’s administration.

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