Hyderabad: The Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA), on 20 August, strongly condemned the notices issued to parents of students of St. Andrew’s school on the pretext of pandemic laws and booking of cases against eight parents under various sections of the IPC, the Epidemic Act, and the Disaster Management Act. The association has decided to move the High Court to seek justice.

The parents of St. Andrew’s were in talks with the school management to reduce the fees in view of the pandemic. The school has reportedly started collecting fees for infrastructure, computer facilities, teacher recruitment, and caution deposit in violation of an order issued by the Telangana government.

“On 21 July, parents approached St. Andrew’s school in Bowenpally to find out whether their request had been taken into consideration. However, the school authorities refused to to meet the parents and instead called the police. The police threatened the parents in their attempts to disperse them. The parents were following the social distancing norms and all of them were wearing masks and also carrying sanitizers. However, the police, under the influence of the school management, tried to take one parent into custody. They also threatened to book cases under the pandemic laws,” said one of the parents.

The tuition fee for 2018-19 was only Rs. 1,700 per month. The government had instructed schools to collect only the tuition fees on a monthly basis. But the school the management violated the order and collected extra fees.

“The management is trying to gag parents by asking the police to book cases against them. Two parents have been asked to report to the police station on 21 August or they will be arrested. This is how parents are being forced to withdraw their grievances, by use of law and by filing non-billable cases against them,” said another parent, adding one of the parents was threatened personally by the circle inspector. An audio clip of the incident has gone viral on social media. The inspector can be heard warning the parent that he will book cases against them. In fact, he did.

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