The seven days of jallikattu protests

Violence forces schools, colleges close early

School students were put to hardship as the jallikattu protests turned violent in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

The unexpected violence that broke out in the city on Monday left parents and students anxious, as they struggled to get home from school.

With the situation getting out of control, schools and colleges had to be closed early. Around noon, institutions allowed students to go home. Some schools sent text messages to parents assuring them that the children could remain safe in school until the regular end of the working day. However, most parents rushed to schools to take their wards back home.

The principal of a school in Mylapore said parents began arriving on the campus by 11.30 a.m. “We permitted students to leave as parents started to arrive. Over the last one week, our school transport has been facing difficulties in dropping students in areas around the beach such as Santhome and Triplicane,” she said.

S. Deepak, who had picked his children up from their school near Santhome said, “The reports on violence and traffic situation were extremely worrisome. We managed to reach home from the school two hours later.”

Despite a bandh-like situation on Friday, not all schools had closed in the city. Many CBSE schools, which had pre-board examinations, functioned for the higher classes alone.

A parent of a student in a private school in Anna Nagar said, “My husband was driving past the school around noon when he saw children assembled in the yard. He picked up our daughter and we also informed other parents. Usually the school authorities inform us of early closure. However, today they only sent a message saying after-school activities had been cancelled.”

Though colleges began functioning normally in the morning, by afternoon the situation became tense with students indulging in sit-ins within the premises or outside. Students of Bharathi Women’s College in Mint staged a protest. It was called off after authorities met the students. Loyola College students staged protest at a bus stand outside the college. Traffic was affected for nearly two hours and the police evicted them.

Students of Ponneri Government College abandoned the assessment test mid-way to hold a protest. Similar protests were witnessed in Karur and Sivaganga, college education officials said.

With the student strength low in Presidency College, no incidents were reported. The protests prevented C. Murugan, an assistant professor in the Marina campus of Madras University from reaching his department. He left home at 9 a.m. “It took me two hours to get to Anna Salai from Kodambakkam but I couldn’t go further. I finally returned home at 1 p.m.”

Director of College Education J. Manjula said since traffic movement was affected colleges decided to ask parents to pick up their wards.

All schools and colleges would function on Tuesday, authorities said later.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:46:06 PM |

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