The eviction notice was served with a October 9 deadline despite continued representations by the Indian Embassy to the Saudi Royalty and Ministry of Education
Hundreds of students and alumni of an Indian school in Saudi Arabia launched an internet campaign, appealing Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to ensure that the boys section of the institution is not shut down.
A court in Saudi Arabia had earlier ordered the International Indian School in Jeddah (IISJ) to vacate the boys section of the institute.
IISJ is the only school offering the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum.
Students and alumni have also taken to the internet and started the '#SushmajiPleaseHelp' campaign to draw the foreign minister's attention.
According to a report by The Hindu, the online petition was signed by more than 3,300 petitioners on October 7.
The premises had been vacated over the weekend after Saudi authorities slapped an eviction notice with an October 9 deadline. The notice was served despite representations by the Indian Embassy to the Saudi Royalty and Ministry of Education, the report suggests.
The Indian embassy had also submitted petitions to the Saudi Royal Court in August 2018 to reconsider the case and in September 2018, to stay the verdict.
The Saudi court had ruled in favour of the owner of the property, which is around four kilometres from the main school building. The main building is used by girl students.
The matter had been reeling under a court case since 2005. IISJ had won the original petition in 2015. However, it was struck down in 2016 when the court ordered the school to back-pay a rent of more than 32 million Riyals (approximately Rs 62.2 crore).
IISJ had paid the rent and appealed to allow the institution to operate there until March, when the school term ends and for an alternate premise to be found. The authorities however slapped an eviction notice.
Issue involves court verdicts which have gone against the School. Consequently, Embassy/Consulate and MoE cognizant of issue and taking measures for continuation of education of about 4200 students by following due norms, rules, regulations and procedures of the country.
— India in Jeddah (@CGIJeddah) October 6, 2018
"It's nostalgic to see our school and a lot of memories go. Ma'am, can anything be done by the government to get back the boys' campus of Int'l Indian School in Jeddah, KSA?” a student tweeted.
— Wasim Ahmed (@WasimWD9) October 7, 2018
IISJ was set up in 1969 for children of Indian nationals and is considered vital for Indians working in the city.In 2017, the school has previously entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the "largest human mosaic formation" involving 4,500 students.