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Education under Attack 2010 - India

Publisher UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
Publication Date 10 February 2010
Cite as UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Education under Attack 2010 - India, 10 February 2010, available at: [accessed 18 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Attacks on education have been reported in a number of states affected by the Naxalite (Maoist) conflict, most notably Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. In addition, there have been reports of incidents in the north-eastern states of Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya, where separatist movements are active, as well as in several other states where armed criminal gangs are operating or where there has been religious or caste-related violence. In some states, more than one of these factors may be at work.

In the Naxalite conflict, between January and July 2009, at least 11 schools in Jharkhand and nine schools in Bihar were blown up, and at least 37 schools were occupied at some point by security forces in Jharkhand, according to Human Rights Watch. Over the whole of 2009 at least 50 schools were attacked in Jharkhand and Bihar.429 Maoists torched the house of a parateacher in Chowka, Jharkhand, and beat him up.430 In April 2009, a boy in Mandar, Jharkhand, was reported to have been tortured for refusing to join the Naxalites' children's brigade.431 In Bihar, four schools were blown up and a generator was seized from one of them.432 In Chhattisgarh State, a 15-year-old student was shot three times and stabbed by Maoist guerrillas in front of his teacher and classmates after finishing an examination in March 2009.433

Unrelated to the Naxalite conflict, on 30 October 2009, a schoolboy, Ayush Ankit, aged nine, was kidnapped by unidentified armed men on his way to school at Awa More, Gopalganj, Bihar.434 On 16 October 2009, a class 11 schoolgirl was abducted on her way home from private tuition in Maida District, West Bengal.435 On 14 September 2009, Shresth Sanjay (Shreya), a class 1 student of Christ Church School, was kidnapped at gunpoint by three armed men on his way to school in Patna, Bihar.436 In Mangalore, Karnataka, a Catholic teacher was attacked and beaten by Hindu extremists in January 2009.437

On 17 July 2008, the Manipur state government made it mandatory for all children aged 10 to 16 to be accompanied by parents, following increasing reports of missing children and after parents had stopped sending children to school for fear of abduction by armed opposition groups for the purpose of forced recruitment. A survey by the All Manipur Elementary School Teachers' Association found that attendance in primary and junior high schools, both government and private, had dropped from 80 per cent to 40 per cent since students started disappearing across Imphal Valley.438

Armed groups were also targeting schools and universities for extortion. On 19 June 2008, the KCP (MC) Lanchanba group demanded that six teachers from Manipur University pay Rs100,000 each. On 1 July 2008, the authorities decided to close the school due to other extortion demands from other armed groups including the Kuki National Army and Naga National Council.439

On 22 October 2008, the Supreme Court of Orissa asked the state government to provide compensation to every school and college damaged during attacks on Christians in August that year.440 On 28 October 2008, the headteacher of St George School, Ryngku, Meghalaya, was allegedly tortured by personnel of the Border Security Force.441 On 19 November 2008, Khukul Khatun, a 17-year-old student, was shot by Border Security Force personnel on her way home from school at Hatkhola, Nadia District, West Bengal, after she refused his attempts to molest her.442

In the Naxalite conflict in 2008, two schools were blown up by Maoists in Jharkhand. In the same state, around 40 schools were occupied as paramilitary camps in rural areas. Several had been occupied for 20 years. On 30 November, suspected Maoists blew up a school building in Paki block, Palamau District, and left a pamphlet at the scene of the incident, which said the building was destroyed to prevent security forces using it in future. On 9 July 2008, Ramesh Singh Munda, a member of the legislative assembly, was shot dead by suspected Maoists while attending a programme at a school near Ranchi. A 17-year-old student was also killed. On 2 January 2008, two teachers were killed in Sikri village, Chatra District, for refusing to make payments to the rebels.443

In Chhattisgarh, Maoists were reported to have used children under 12 "in droves". Children, aged 6 and above, were indoctrinated and trained as informers; then, from age 12, were recruited into the ranks and trained to use arms and explosives. Government-backed Salwa Judum vigilantes have used children to attack Naxalite-influenced villages, and state police have used child recruits for anti-Naxalite combing operations.444 In Machkandna, West Midnapore District, West Bengal, on 22 February 2008, Maoists dragged Karamchand Singh, a headteacher, from his chair, shot him, and smashed his head with a stone in front of his students.445

Unrelated to the Naxalite conflict, in 2008 in Assam, an eight-year-old boy was kidnapped by suspected militants near his school, Tangla English Medium High, Tangla, Udalguri District on 25 August. Rahul Roy, age six, was kidnapped from his school in Diphu on the same day.446

On 15 August 2008, in Maharashtra State, MNS (a far-right group) damaged a school in Pune for allegedly failing to celebrate Independence Day.447

On 6 August 2008, an MBA student, Pratibha Anand, was kidnapped on her way home from dropping fees off at her college, Zakir Hussein Management Institute, Patna, Bihar. The kidnappers demanded a ransom.448

In Charkhi Dadri, Haryana, on 17 July 2008, a 17-year-old Dalit student was abducted from outside her school, bundled into a car, threatened with murder and raped by four people.449

On 6 July 2008, in Manipur State, the People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) abducted four boys in two incidents. Two were released. The others were said to have voluntarily joined the group.450

On 15 March 2008, nuns from St Mary's School, Sangoti, Raigad District, Maharashtra, were attacked by a mob who claimed they were converting adivasis (indigenous people) to Christianity.451

In January 2008, in the north-east, security forces tortured Majab Ali, headteacher of Dhula High School, Mangladai, Assam. He had been assaulted by a group of army personnel.452

During the Naxalite conflict in 2007, in December, village teachers in Kannaiguda said they had stopped going to school because Salwa Judum members beat them for allegedly assisting Naxalites.453

On 25 October 2007, Maoists blew up a school building used to house security personnel in Sobaranpur Giridih District, Jharkhand.454

It was reported in July 2007 that 25 schools had been converted into police camps in Jharkhand, and many education facilities remained closed due to both the military occupation of schools and the targeting of schools by Naxalites. In some cases, children were forced to learn their lessons in the open air while security personnel lived in school buildings.455 A report, in June 2007, said 250 schools had been blown up in Chhattisgarh over the previous two years.456

On 10 April 2007, Maoists blew up a middle school and a high school in Munger, Bihar, which previously housed a CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force).457

In March 2007, Maoists killed 55 police officers in a full-scale attack on a police outpost attached to a girls' residential school in Rani Bodli village.458

In the first three months of 2007, the Jharkhand government converted 25 schools into police camps.459 Human Rights Watch reported that 20 schools were deliberately destroyed in Chhattisgarh before February 2007 to prevent police from using them for their operations.460

In February 2007, the Chhattisgarh government claimed that more than 250 schools had been blown up in recent months by Maoists and announced that it would move many schools to the vicinity of police stations or Salwa Judum camps.461

In January 2007, the Asian Centre for Human Rights was told that 250 schools and ashrams (adivasi resident hostels that often include residential schools) were being used by security forces in Dantewada District. The government acknowledged that 150 schools/ashrams were in the possession of security forces.462

Away from the Naxalite conflict in 2007, four Christian missionaries from the Don Bosco High School, Mumbai, were attacked and injured on 19 December, reportedly by Hindu activists.463

On 26 October 2007, in Assam, Rajen Das, a headteacher at Ulubari IP School, was allegedly tortured and died in police custody.464

On 19 October 2007, teacher Abid Rashid Mir was tortured and later shot dead in army custody in Whokibal, Kupwara District, Jammu and Kashmir.465

On 28 August 2007, Nandakumar Sharma, the suspended Joint Director of the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur, was shot in the knee reportedly by KyKl (Kanglei Yawol Kunna Lup, an armed group in Manipur) on charges of corruption. He had been suspended by the state government for his alleged involvement in the illegal appointment of teachers.466

On 7 June 2007, armed militants kidnapped schoolboy Rjat Agarwalla, 12, on his way to school in Sonari, Sivsgar, Assam. 467

On 14 May 2007, Tabassum Noor, a student from Mandoora Tral High School, Jammu Kashmir, was seriously injured after being allegedly beaten on the head and back with rifle butts by CRPF troops on her way to school.468

On 6 April 2007, Dr Iboton Singh, principal of the Central Academy School, Mantripukhri, Manipur, and teacher Mohammed Janabuddin were shot in their legs by suspected KyKl cadres for allegedly running the National Open School, which had been banned by the armed group.469

On 26 February 2007, schoolteacher Tuhin Samata was shot dead during a political clash over the election of the governing body of the Chanduli Higher Secondary School, Latwa, Bardhaman District, West Bengal.470

On 6 February 2007, Tapswar Hazarika, a staff member of Goreswar HS School, Baksa District, Assam, was arbitrarily arrested.471

Between November 2006 and January 2007, the Adivasi National Liberation Army kidnapped one school student, Sourav Bhoumik, of Borsing Memorial English School in Sarupathar, Assam; a teacher, Keshob Sahu; and Anil Keketa, the general secretary of the students' union at Sarupathar College.472

In the Naxalite conflict in 2006, Maoists blew up three schools – a primary school, a middle school and an ashram school – at Koitpal District in Dantewada, and two schools in Kanker District, all in Chhattisgarh during October.473

In May 2006, Naxalites in Jharkhand were reported to be destroying all buildings that could shelter security personnel, including schools.474 One primary school in Herhang, Lathehar District, was hit three times in the same year.475

In March 2006, the Asian Centre for Human Rights called on the state government to vacate 250 schools and ashram schools being used by security forces and Salwa Judum, and to conduct an inquiry into the recruitment of child soldiers among the Special Police Officers. It also called on the Communist Party of India (Maoist) to stop recruiting children for hostilities and ban Bal Mandal, its Children's Division.476 The districts of Dantewada and Bijapur, in Chhattisgarh, reported that 40 per cent of children aged 6 to 16 residing in Salwa Judum camps were not attending school in 2005.477

There was a reported increase in the recruitment of children by Maoists between 2005 and 2007. Children aged 14 and 15 were reportedly recruited into armed squads in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Some were taken from school without their parents' consent. Similarly, other armed opposition groups in Jammu and Kashmir were said to be actively recruiting children as young as 13 or 14 from schools and mosques.478

In December 2007, villagers in Kannaiguda and Mukudtong, Dantewada District, also said that students stopped going to school when Salwa Judum began operating in the area because they abducted children.479

[Refworld note: The source report "Education under Attack 2010" was posted on the UNESCO website ( in pdf format, with country chapters run together. Original footnote numbers have been retained here.]

429 Bede Sheppard (HRW), interview with the author, July 9, 2009; Raj Kumar, "State Police Launch Leaflet War on Rebels," The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, June 26, 2009;, "Maoists Blow Up School Building in Jharkhand," May 23, 2009; Press Trust of India (PTI), "Maoists Blow Up School Building, Health Centre," March 23, 2009; PTI, "School Building Blown Up by Maoists in Palamau," April 10, 2009; Shahnawaz Akhtar, "Maoists Blow Up School," The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, April 21, 2009; and Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), "Maoists Blow Up Railway Station, School in Jharkhand," April 22, 2009.

430 Kumud Jenamani, "Rebels Torch Teacher's Home," The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, April 9, 2009.

431 Kumar, "State Police Launch Leaflet War."

432 Abdul Qadir, "Maoists Blow Up School, Health Centre in Bihar," The Times of India, April 27, 2009; The Hindu, "Maoists Blast Dynamite in Bihar School," April 6, 2009; and The Times of India, "Maoist Diktat in Bihar: Send Kids to School," June 11, 2009.

433 Hindustan Times, "Class 9 Boy Shot and Stabbed by Maoists Outside School," March 20, 2009.

434 The Hindu, "Schoolboy Kidnapped in Bihar," October 31, 2009.

435 The Hindu, "Kidnapped Student Untraced," October 19, 2009.

436 Thaindian News, "Class 1 Student Kidnapped in Patna," September 14, 2009.

437 Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), "India: Attacks on Christians Continue in Karnataka," January 14, 2009.

438 The Telegraph, "Abductions Keep Kids Home – Manipur Schools Register 40% Drop in Attendance," July 30, 2008, as quoted in Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), India Human Rights Report 2009 (New Delhi: ACHR, 2009), 128.

439 ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2009, 134.

440 Ibid., 161.

441 Ibid., 140.

442 Ibid., 199.

443 Ibid., 90-2.

444 HRW, "India: All Sides Using Children in Chhattisgarh Conflict," September 5, 2008.

445 ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2009, 202.

446 Ibid., 125.

447 US Department of State, 2008 Human Rights Report: India (US Department of State, 2009).

448 Anand Mohan Sahay, "Bihar: MBA Student Kidnapped," Rediff India Abroad, August 9, 2008,

449 ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2009, 72.

450 US Department of State, 2008 Human Rights Report: India.

451 ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2009, 125.

452 Ibid., 21.

453 HRW, "Being Neutral is Our Biggest Crime": Government, Vigilante, and Naxalite Abuses in India's Chhattisgarh State (New York: HRW, 2008).

454 The Times of India, "Maoists Destroy School Buildings in Jharkhand," October 25, 2007.

455 ACHR, "The Naxal Conflict: Killings Decrease, Conflict Intensifies," Naxal Conflict Monitor 2, no. 2 (July 4, 2007), 8.

456 The Indian Express, "Another Blow by Naxalites, This Time It's Kids' Education," June 30, 2007, as quoted in ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2008 (New Delhi: ACHR, 2008).

457 PTI, "Naxalites Blow Up Two Schools in Bihar," April 10, 2007.

458 Purnima S. Tripathi, "Strike By Night," Frontline 24, No. 6 (March 24 - April 6, 2007).

459 The Hindustan Times, "Jharkhand Schools Become Police Camps," April 18, 2007.

460 HRW, "Being Neutral is Our Biggest Crime."

461 Indian Express, as quoted in The South Asian, "Naxals disrupt Chhattisgarh Classes, Schools Move Base," February 23, 2007,

462 Tripathi, "Strike By Night"; also see for information on the conflict up to 2007.

463 The Indian Express, "Missionaries Attacked in Tribal Gujurat, FIR Says It Was VHP Mob," December 21, 2007.

464 ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2009, 17.

465 Shabir Ibn Yusuf, "Kupwara Killing By Army Personnel – Teacher Tortured Before He Was Shot Dead in Custody," The Kashmir Times, October 23, 2007.

466 The Indian Express, "Manipur Militants Shoot Education Official in Knee for Corruption," August 29, 2007, as quoted in ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2008, 113.

467 The Indian Express, "Militants Abduct Schoolboy in Assam," June 8, 2007,

468 Shabir Dar, "CRPF Men Beat Up Class X Girl Student," The Kashmir Times, May 14, 2007.

469 The Kanglaonline, "Principal, Teacher Shot in the Legs," April 7, 2007, as quoted in ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2008, 113.

470 The Tribune, "Violence in Court Over Killing of Schoolteacher By Cop," March 1, 2007, as quoted in ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2008, 159.

471 ACHR, India Human Rights Report 2008, 19.

472 Sarat Sarma, "Extortion Network Expands – Adivasi Group on the Prowl," The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, January 21, 2007.

473 The Hitavada, "Naxals Blow Up 3 School Buildings," October 29, 2006.

474 The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, "Security Shelter on Rebel Radar – Maoists Target and Destroy Buildings Used By Police to Take Cover and Rest," May 3, 2006.

475 Daily News and Analysis India,

476 ACHR, The Adivasis of Chhattisgarh: Victims of the Naxalite Movement and the Salwa Judum Campaign (New Delhi: ACHR, 2006).

477 HRW, "Being Neutral is Our Biggest Crime."

478 Christian Science Monitor, "Maoists Spread Across Rural India," August 22, 2006; Times of India, "Children at War in Insurgency Zone," May 29, 2007; and HRW, "Everyone Lives in Fear": Patterns of Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir, HRW report 18, no. 11(C) (New York: HRW, 2006); all as cited in Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008, 170.

479 Ibid.

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