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B�lore school accused of encroachment


Priyanjana Dutta,CNN-IBN
Feb 21, 2008 at 10:42pm IST

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Bangalore: It is just another day for the children at the Valley School on the outskirts of Bangalore.

But the school authorities have been on their toes for the last couple of days.

The reason; the Bangalore Urban forest division has filed a case against the school for encroaching upon 4.2 acres of reserve forestland to construct its art village, a charge they admit to.

"We have no problem in relinquishing land and their taking it. We knew this would happen and it has happened,” says director, Valley School, Dr Satish Inamdar.

But more worrying is the accusation that they were illegally cutting sandalwood from the forest.

Forest department officials have seized around 500 kilo of sandalwood from the school premises.

But the school authorities claim sandalwood grows wildly and in abundance in the 96-acre premises.

And they were just storing parts of sandalwood trees left behind by poachers

“We are not into any such commercial activity, we are purely a cultural and educational institution of Krishnamurthy foundation. We only feel please exonerate us from that, we have nothing else to say we have one line agenda…exonerate us from the allegation from anything to do with sandalwood,” said Dr Inamdar.

Forest Department officials have declined comment on the issue.

"The case is before the court and the matter is subjudice so in that regard I don't want to comment further on that one. Let the matter be considered on it's merits before the court,” says Conservator of Forests, Dr U V Singh.

While the school authorities have acknowledged the fact that the land belongs to the forest department, they are hurt about allegations made by the forest department that the school had collected sandalwood.

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