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The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the home ministry to have all schools in the northeast that have been occupied by paramilitary forces vacated in two months.

The apex court bench of Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar also asked the human resource development ministry to assess infrastructural bottlenecks in schools in the largely mountainous region.

The order came after a public interest litigation drew the court’s attention to the problem of exploitation of children who were transported from northeastern states to the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh allegedly for good education.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights blamed the occupation of schools by paramilitary forces for the children being taken from the northeast to the southern states.

Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaisingh said most schools were under the occupation of paramilitary forces and that had worsened the situation. She sought the court’s direction to have these vacated.

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