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Villagers give up agitation

By Our Staff Reporter

KARUR, AUG. 26. The residents of Thammanaickenpatti in this district, who have been conducting a series of protests demanding that the Government High School in their village be upgraded, have decided to suspend their agitation for the time being following talks with the Collector, G. Ramamoorthy, who assured them that the administration would pursue the matter with the Education Department.

After holding talks with the Collector today, they decided to unlock the doors of the school that they had locked on August 9. Since then, the school remained closed. Similarly, the Education Department cancelled the shifting of nine teachers and a non-teaching staff of the school on deputation to other schools. The new order invalidating the deputation order was issued the same day, as the administration felt that any such move would send a wrong signal to the residents, who had taken exception to the move.

The Collector, after the meeting with the villagers, asked the officials to make immediate arrangements to admit about 60 students who had passed the SSLC from the school and were expecting to pursue their studies in the same school.

The DMK district secretary, Vasuki Murugesan, the Congress district president, Subramaniam, and other Opposition party leaders were present when the Parent Teachers Association president, V. Kalaimani, and parents of some students met the Collector today. They reportedly told the Collector that they were unlocking the doors of the school to prevent further harm to the studies of other students and that they expected a favourable reply from the administration regarding upgrading the school as early as possible.

Despite protestations of the villagers about politicisation of the whole issue, it is clear that the politicians had hijacked a genuine demand. The main Opposition parties led by the Karur MP, K.C. Palanisamy, who seized the opportunity to promise free transport facility to the students who want to pursue their education elsewhere lest they miss the classes, fuelled the struggle of the villagers. The ruling party's cause was not helped either by the efforts of the Aravakurichi MLA, who the residents claim did not provide enough steam for their demand. While the Opposition was constantly in the picture, the ruling party managers might now feel the pinch, the residents aver.

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