Around 50 private schools in Fatehabad area of Agra district have been closed for a week now in protest against the kidnapping of a four-year-old boy on September 11.
Owners of the schools and teachers are demanding early release of the kidnapped boy and security for themselves and students.
Abhishek Sharma,a nursery student at Usha Devi Convent School,was kidnapped by two unidentified motorcyclists while he was returning home in Gaddi Uday Raj village under Fatehabad police circle. The boy,whose father Santosh Sharma is a well-off farmer,has since been missing and the family has not received any ransom demand.
The same day,school owner Ashish Gupta called a meeting of owners and managers of all schools in the area and informed them. It was decided that if the boy was not found within 24 hours,we would go on indefinite strike. The next day,we met the SDM and gave him a memorandum. The additional SP was also present. They asked us not to go for strike but we told them we were firm, said Ram Kumar Sharma,owner of Takshala Vidya Peeth.
On September 13,the schools closed down. Ashish Gupta said all felt strongly about the incident because Abhishek was kidnapped from a school rickshaw.
Rickshaw-puller Jitendra told the police that the kidnapping took place near a railway crossing,after he asked the children to get down so that he could pull the vehicle across the tracks. Two motorcyclists,whose faces were covered with scarves,picked up the boy and drove away.
The closure has affected around 8,000 students in Fatehabad and adjoining tehsils,including Bah. However,school owners claim the parents were with them.
Since our demand appeared in newspapers,the parents knew about our protest. Many parents visited us and assured that they are with us, said Ram Kumar Sharma.
On Sunday,the school owners met senior officials of the police and district administration. The officials assured us they would find the boy soon and increase patrolling around schools,so some schools opened after four days of strike,but most are still closed, said Sharma.