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Tripura teachers’ stir similar to farmers’ agitations in Delhi : BJP

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Agartala, Jan 28 (IANS) The ruling BJP in Tripura on Thursday claimed that the state teachers’ “politically motivated stirs” are backed by the Opposition CPI-M and the protest is similar to farmers’ agitations in Delhi.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief spokesman Subrata Chakraborty and spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjje in a joint press conference claimed that the protesting farmers in Delhi carrying CPI-M’s red flag while the agitating teachers in Tripura giving political slogans against the BJP led government and the ruling party at the behest of the Left partis.

At least 87 teachers and 17 police personnel were injured in a pitched battle on Wednesday with the security forces knocking down the tents in which thousands of Tripura government school teachers, who had lost their jobs following the court’s verdict, have been holding a sit-in protest for the past 52 days demanding restoration of their jobs.

Chakraborty said that during Wednesday’s incident, the agitating teachers tried to snatch the rifles of the security forces and attacked them. Accusing former Chief Minister Mani Sarkar for the teachers’ plight, he said that the teachers have lost their jobs following High Court and Supreme Court verdicts as the previous Left Front government had done “irrigularities” in providing the jobs hence nothing to do with the present BJP government.

“We urge the state government to take stern actions against the trouble making teachers in the name of the agitations,” Bhattacharjee said addng the BJP government has been making alternative arrangements for them. West Tripura District Magistrate and Collector Shailesh Kumar Yadav after promulgating prohibitory orders 144 Cr Pc in the entire Agartala Municipal Corporation areas banning assembly of five or more people said that in all 87 teachers and 17 police personnel were injured in Wednesday’s incidents (police lathicharge, use of water cannon and burst of tear gas shells).

“The agitating teachers also damaged four police cars. Considering the situation, the prohibitory orders were extended until Friday,” Yadav told the media.The injured teachers, including many women, were admitted in various hospitals including the Agartala Medical College and Hospital.Dalia Das, joint convener of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) on Thursday said that ten seriously wounded teachers including four women still undergoing treatments in the hospitals.Opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist, Congress and other political parties condemning Wednesday’s incident said that “indiscriminate police action and lathicharge were barbaric”.

Referring to Wednesday’s police action, CPI-M state secretary Gautam Das said that Tripura never witnessed such police barbarism.

“An unprecedented number of security personnel were deployed to deal with the hapless teachers. Police used lathi, water cannon and burst tear gas shells to disperse the teachers’ gatherings.”Ten policemen collectively seen used their batons on a teacher. Women teachers were also not spared by the man policemen,” Das, also the party’s central committee member, told the media.

The leaders of the JMC, which is spearheading the stir since last year, said that of the 10,323 retrenched government teachers, 84 persons died due to various reasons, including three persons who committed suicide.JMC’s joint convener Dalia Das said that many out of the 10,323 teachers after losing their jobs fell sick due to depression and economic paucity and 84 of them died.

The family members of all the retrenched teachers are in great distress, especially of those who have died.Both Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and Education and Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath have on a number of occasions requested the agitating teachers to compete for around 9,000 vacant posts in various departments, including the Education Department, for which the state government issued recruitment notifications.Nath accused the previous Left Front government for the teachers’ plight and told the media that the government cannot provide jobs to any one without following the stipulated formalities, including conducting interviews.

After visiting the hospital, where the injured teachers are being treated, former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is now the opposition leader, told the media that after the Tripura High Court and the Supreme Court had terminated the jobs of 10,323 government teachers in 2011, 2014 and 2017, the then Left Front government had created 13,000 posts to accommodate these teachers alternatively.

He said the BJP leaders before the 2018 Assembly polls had promised to regularise their jobs if they came to power, but nothing has been done by them for these teachers.On the government’s offer of jobs, JMC leader Das said the teachers have already completed their government service for seven to 10 years and several of them crossed their stipulated age limit and the state government’s offer is “unreasonable” and against the interest of the teachers.She said the protesters had suspended their agitation earlier after the Chief Minister on October 3 last year assured to take steps to resolve their problems permanently within two months.

“After waiting for more than two months, we resumed our sit-in stir on December 7 but the state government is yet to take any step. We would soon intensify our agitation,” Das said on Thursday.

The state government had earlier given a lump-sum financial aid of Rs 35,000 each to 8,882 government school teachers, who lost their jobs on March 31 last year, as the courts in their verdicts had cited “discrepancies in recruitments”.

Of the 10,323 former government teachers, 1,357 people got alternative jobs and availed different income avenues while 84 teachers died with three of them committing suicide.




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