Mrunal Manmay Dash

Students belonging to a government High School at Mohana in Odisha’s Gajapati district were forced to wait on the school verandah on Monday after they found their school locked up with the doors and windows sealed even after the announcement of the Panchayat poll results a week ago.

The students, who were made to wait, protested in front of the school demanding the Block officials to immediately open the doors so that they can take their classes for the upcoming matriculation exams.

A Class 10 student said, “The Block officials have put locks on the doors and, despite knowing that the schools are reopening from today, they did not care to take off the locks.”

“We have a lot to cover as the Class 10 exams are approaching. We urge the administration to open our school soon so that we can start taking classes,” she requested.

A teacher at the school said, “This school was used as dispersal cum counting centre for the recently concluded Panchayat polls. Some classrooms were used as strong room for ballot boxes so the doors and windows were completely sealed by bricks.”

“I have intimated the Block Development Officer (BDO) about the issue and requested him to open it up. He has assured to clear all the windows and doors and make the rooms available for classes soon,” the teacher added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the counting for the three tier Panchayat polls which finished on February 28 was done manually following a decision by the State Election Commission to conduct the elections by paper ballot.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal won more than 760 Zilla Parishad zones out of the total 852 seats in the State.