Bengal primary teachers held for violating prohibitory orders

Kolkata: At least 15 members of the West Bengal Primary Trained Teachers’ Association (WBPTTA) courted arrest by staging a protest outside the state assembly violating prohibitory orders to press their demands linked to wage and seniority.

Around 40 members shouted slogans and staged the demonstration when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was inside the Assembly on Friday, and were arrested by the police as prohibitory orders were in force in the area.

“40 of us had taken part in the demonstration. They arrested 15, including 11 women,” WBPTTA state president Pintu Parui told IANS.

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Parui said the primary teachers were demanding an increase in their basic pay and grade pay to be on par with their counterparts in other states, who now earn much more.

Parui said there was also no weightage given to seniority of assistant teachers at present.

There was high drama after the arrested teachers were brought to the central lock-up at the city police headquarters Lalbazar.

“The police asked us to sign on a piece of paper and said they would complete the rest of the formalities towards granting us personal bond. But we refused to sign to ensure no false cases were slapped on us. We gave a deadline of 7.15 pm to the police to release us and told them otherwise we will start an indefinite hunger strike”.

“The police finally released us at 7 pm,” said Parui.

Asked about their next course of action, he said, “We will hold discussions among ourselves to chalk out an agitation programme”.

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