Terminated teachers under the banner of Joint Movement Committee launches indefinite sit-in demonstration in Agartala

Agartala: A joint forum of three organisations under the banner of Joint Movement Committee (JMC) on Monday launched an indefinite mass sit-in-demonstration to demand a permanent solution for the over 10,000 teachers who lost their jobs in Tripura.

The protest comes two months after Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb had assured the teachers of a permanent solution to their problems.

The selection of 10,323 teachers was conducted according to advertisements issued in 2002, 2006 and 2009, which was challenged before the High Court of Tripura by Tanmoy Nath and others. Later, the High Court of Tripura announced the termination of the teachers in 2014, which was later upheld by the Supreme Court in 2017.

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Interestingly, the number of terminated teachers have now come down to 8,882 after around 1,400 of the 10,323 were recruited for jobs in other departments of the government. But the remaining 8,882 terminated teachers continue their struggle.

The teachers also got divided into four different groups: Amra 10,323 (We 10,323), All Tripura Victimized 10,323, the All Tripura 10,323 Adhoc Teachers Employees Organisation, and Justice for 10,323. Three of these, excluding All Tripura victimized 10,323, have come together to form the JMC and launched the indefinite demonstration on Monday.

Speaking with EastMojo, Bimal Saha, leader of JMC said both the previous government led by the CPIM and the incumbent BJP-IPFFT government have cheated on the teachers for the political interest.

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“The chief minister has assured to find a permanent solution for the sacked 10,323 teachers by December 2. We waited enough, and now the agitation would be withdrawn only after the CM gives written assurance that their problems would be solved permanently,” Saha said.

The hundreds of terminated teachers are protesting in front of Agartala City Centre shopping complex with placards that read, “Who’s responsible for termination of 10323, government or the law?”

Speaking with reporters, Dalia Das, leader of Amra 10,323 organisation, said that the chief minister had in September promised to provide a permanent solution that would recruit the sacked teachers at one go.

“It has been more than nine months since we lost our jobs. The CM gave us two months to be assured of a permanent solution, but there is no word from his side till date. We waited enough, and it is difficult running a family. We have launched the indefinite sit-in-demonstration, and this would continue for until we receive written assurance,” Das added.

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Das also said that the agitation would not be lifted unless the chief minister came in person and provided them with a written assurance to solve their problems.

The teachers’ demands also include employment in families of teachers who have died due to mental trauma and stress triggered due to the job loss.

Earlier on September 22, the state cabinet gave a nod to formulate a policy to provide alternative job recruitment for the 10,323 terminated teachers in Group C and Group D vacancies of various government departments or through outsourcing.

The Supreme Court in its verdict has permitted the Tripura government with age relaxation and opportunity to the terminated teachers till 31st March 2023 to get selected for the posts of teachers and who are unsuccessful in such attempts may retain their alternate employment.

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The Tripura government had identified different posts under the state elementary education department. These include 6,000 posts of mid-day meal assistants, 300 posts of hostel wardens and 1,000 posts of mid-day meal supervisors or coordinators would be created. Under the social welfare and social education department, 4,000 posts of early childhood organisers are also lying vacant so far.

Tripura has a total of 4,400 government and government-aided schools in which around 27,000 teachers are imparting education across the state.

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