The International Indian School Jeddah, a CBSE affiliated school that caters to over 15,000 students of the Indian community residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has been asked to vacate a land which houses the boys’ section of the school.
The eviction notice comes as a follow up to the court case in which the owner of the land has allegedly claimed exorbitant amount from the school management as rent, to which the school couldn’t comply.
A school official on the condition of anonymity explained that International Indian School Jeddah’s ‘Boys Section’ building was constructed and started functioning as a full-fledged school for boys in the year 1994. The school purchased this land (registered as Not For Profit), and the construction was entirely carried out by the school. Since expats cannot directly buy land in Saudi Arabia, it was done in the name of Mr. Mahomood Ahmed Maimani, and a contract was signed.
According to the contract that was signed between the school and the Mr.Mahomood Ahmed Maimani, a lease agreement of 49 years was made, and the entire lease amount was paid to him over a span of 4-5 years. As per the lease agreement, Mr. Maimani was not allowed to lease/rent/sell the property to anyone until the end of the lease period. However, Mr. Maimani committed a breach of contract before he died and sold the property to Mr. Saeed Omer Balaram, who, after the death of Mr. Maimami, started claiming annual rent from the school.
When the school declined his demand, he filed a case claiming for rent or to vacate the building. In 2015, the court closed this case. However, in 2016 the court reopened the case and gave the verdict in favour of Mr. Saeed Omer Balaram who demanded SR 31332191 (close to 60 crore rupees), and the school had no choice but to pay the amount. On receiving the payment, Mr. Saeed Omer Balkhram further demanded a new lease agreement with an exorbitant rent amount which the school could not afford. Due to this, the school has been evicted and thousands of Indian students, as a result, will not be able to attend school from 9 October 2018, putting all these students and their future at risk.
According to a circular issued by the school, the students’ education is being affected in the following ways:
According to the school circular released on October 4 2018, in order to avoid the disturbance in the exam schedule of Class 6 to 10, the half-yearly examinations of boys’ section are being conducted in girls’ section building in Al-Aziziah building from October 7 2018, including classes 11 and 12 who are currently appearing for the first term examination.
With less than 48 hours left, according to the deadline issued by the local court to empty the land on which the campus stood for the last 25 years, the students are trying the last bit and have taken to social media to bring the matter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s notice.
While the students in Saudi Arabia are trying to raise their voice and get their concerns addressed, there is a constant fear that exists considering the fact that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy and social media posts contesting the authority are not observed in a positive light.
Students, Alumni, and other people have started posting messages on Twitter using common hashtags – #Sushmajipleasehelp and #IISJUnite with the hope of getting noticed by the Ministry.