Congress workers ransack DEO office, heckle official

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Local Congress workers Tuesday ransacked the office of District Education Officer (DEO) of Vadodara for allegedly "not acting" on their complaints against a few city-based private schools allegedly violating provisions of Right to Education (RTE) Act.

A group of Congress workers entered the DEO office in Karelibaug area in the afternoon and started bringing down posters outlining various provisions of RTE Act. They also set a few posters on fire in the office premises itself.

Later, the group barged into DEO Shankar Chaudhary's chamber and allegedly tried to force bangles on his wrists as a mark of protest to his alleged "inaction".

The protesters dispersed only after the DEO called up police.

"We had given a memorandum on January 29 saying certain schools were seeking details of parents' income in violation of RTE. Again on February 8, we had complained that a few other schools were arranging entrance tests for student. But the DEO took no action and so we brought down the posters," Sai Dhekane, one of the Congress workers, said.

However, the DEO said he could not act against school without evidence.

"Incident of a school conducting entrance exam was reported to us on Saturday. I have asked two education inspectors to probe the incident and file a report. I can act only after the probe report is submitted in some 10 days," Chaudhary told The Indian Express.

But Congress workers said they would approach district collector if the DEO did not take prompt action against the erring schools.

According to provisions of RTE, conducting entrance test for admission from Class I to VIII is disallowed and schools found doing so can be slapped a fine of up to Rs 25,000.

No complaint was filed in connection with the incident till late in the evening.

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