Tripura: Terminated teachers tonsure heads after another teacher dies
Agartala: The terminated teachers on Sunday held a road blockade in front of Agartala City Centre to protest against the state police after the teachers were denied permission to bring mortal remains of one of the teachers who died after consuming poison at the protest site.
Rumi Debbarma, one of the terminated teachers, had consumed poison on Saturday and was rushed to a private hospital in Agartala where she died.
Speaking with EastMojo, Dipankar Debbarma, member of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) said that the Rumi Debbarma consumed poison due to mental trauma and stress triggered by continuous depression.
“We wanted to pay our last tribute to our colleague Rumi Debbarma, who died last evening. However, Tripura police have prevented us from bringing her body here at the protesting site. We shall continue with the movement until our demands are met”, Dipankar said.
Another JMC member, Gautam Debbarma, said people haven't understood the situation because of the pandemic.
“Now, as schools start in full-fledged mode, there will be an acute shortage of teachers. Among the 10,323 teachers, many hold posts of in-charges in institutions, especially in the tribal areas in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC). Many schools are already suffering from an acute shortage of teachers. The headmasters are demanding teachers, and students are suffering from quality education”, Gautam said.
He added, “No one can deny people their right to education. We do not know why the education department is hiding the reality."
He also alleged that the teachers are being forced to take extra classes since the schools are facing severe crises of teachers across the state.
“According to the education ministry, the ratio of one teacher over every 40 students has to be followed. But the state education department is not doing so. We don’t know why the ministry is not paying attention to the crisis. They had promised that teachers will be rehabilitated, but the whole story is turning upside down”, Gautam told EastMojo.
On Saturday, the terminated teachers tonsure their heads in front of Agartala City Centre.
The teachers also said that in the last 10 days, three persons have died due to depression and suicide across the state. In total, 81 teachers have so far died because of this issue.
The New Capital Complex (NCC) sub-divisional police officer Priya Madhuri Majumder said that the teachers had approached the family of the teacher to take the dead body of the deceased.
“We did not allow the family to take the body in front of the protesting site since that cannot be allowed in the purview of the law and order situation. We made arrangements to send the mortal remains to her residence in Khowai,” Majumder said.
The teachers have been protesting since December 7 last in front of Agartala City Centre amid the cold weather. However, nobody from the government has met with them or called for a meeting.
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.
Interestingly, the number of terminated teachers has 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.
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.