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Team of officials visits college in Valachil

A team of eight officials from the police, the District Child Protection Unit, the Child Welfare Committee and the Pre University Department, on Monday visited Expert Pre University College in Valachil in view of complaints from parents about their children being held back in the institution’s hostel.

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar told reporters here on Tuesday that the visit came after calls were made to him and other officials by parents accusing the college management of not allowing them to meet their children staying in the hostel and also not allowing them to speak with their children. The parents also said that their children were living under tremendous stress in the hostel.

The officials, including Chairman of Child Welfare Committee Renni D’Souza, in-charge Deputy Director of Pre University Department Mariette J. Mascarenhas, Police Inspectors Mahesh Prasad and Revati, District Child Protection Officer Ravikiran, visited the college and spoke to students for more than three hours.

Mr. Kumar said that some of the students told the officials that the management was complying with COVID-19 safety guidelines on campus. The officials, however, noticed some violations in managing the hostel. “I will not elaborate on the findings of the team. The report will be sent to Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra for necessary action,” he said. Nearly 400 children are in the hostel, he said.

Dr. Rajendra said that he will go through the report and seek a report from the Deputy Director of Pre University Department.

Director of Pre University Department Snehal R. told The Hindu that she has also received complaint against the management and that she has asked the Deputy Director to take necessary action. “I have told the college principal to send home students who want to go,” she said.

It was on April 29 that the Mangaluru Rural Police booked a case against the college for conducting classes and other academic activities. The management was also accused of forcing students to remain in the hostel that led to more than 50 parents staging a protest outside the college.

Chairman of Expert Group of Institutions Narendra Nayak had, however, denied the charge.

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