Agartala: At least 10 teachers sustained injuries and were rushed to hospital as the police resorted to lathicharge, using tear gas shells and water cannons, to prevent them from marching towards the state secretariat demanding immediate recruitment to all the terminated teachers and employment to victim families.
A day after Tripura education minister Ratan Lal Nath announced that the state cabinet has given its nod to formulate policy for alternative employment for terminated 10,323 school teachers, a group of teachers under the banner of Justice for 10323 Teachers held protest march against the decision to recruit them in phases and through outsourcing.
Nath had announced that the teachers will be given opportunities to get jobs in Group C and Group D vacancies in various departments, failing which they would be recruited through outsourcing.
The cabinet on Tuesday approved an alternative employment total of 9,698 teachers including 764 post-graduate teachers, 4,380 graduate teachers and 4,542 under-graduate teachers for which advertisement in 9700 vacant non-technical posts would be done.
The teachers’ body on Wednesday organized a procession from Swami Vivekananda Maidan and walked to the entrance gate of the state secretariat where the security force prevented them from moving further by using force.
“The state education minister has announced that the terminated teachers would be recruited in different phases with open advertisement giving equal opportunity to the unemployed youth. This would not help in solving the matter and therefore we demand that alternative jobs must be provided to all the teachers immediately”, Dipankar Debbarma, one of the sacked teachers’ told EastMojo.
Another teacher Gautam Debbarma said that the way the police force misbehaves is not tolerable. It is not a sign of healthy democracy as we have the rights to raise our voice and grievances.
“We are being called as unqualified. We had to sit-in written exam and faced interviews and only then we got the jobs. We did not malign anyone to get jobs from the backdoor. We appeal to the people to support us and if they cannot support us, please don’t ignore us”, Gautam said.
After protesting for hours outside the state secretariat, a delegation of six teachers representing the terminated teachers met with the education minister Ratan Lal Nath to place their demands to the minister.
Speaking with the reporters on returning after meeting with the minister, Ajoy Debbarma, one of the leaders who met with the minister said that the education minister has accepted the demands made by the teachers.
“We had demanded immediate employment of all the teachers to which he has assured that the chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb would meet with the delegation of the teachers within 7 days. If the outcome after meeting with the chief minister is not fruitful, massive protests would be launched across the state”, Ajoy said.
Meanwhile, the former minister and CPIM leader, Badal Choudhury and PCC President Pijush Kanti Biswas were also seen extending their support to the teachers as they visited the agitating teachers in front of the state secretariat.
“You people have the right to protest for the sake of your family and the movement is justified. You have our full support”, Choudhury said.
The PCC chief, Biswas castigated the role of the present government and alleges that they are not keeping their pre-poll promise by arranging alternative employment for the terminated teachers.
Speaking with reporters, New Capital Complex (NCC) Sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Piya Madhuri Majumder said that despite of giving warning for several times the agitating teachers disobeyed the orders following which mild lathi charge and water cannon was used to disperse the mob. However no one has sustained injuries”, she said.