Tripura teachers to resume stir, 85 died of numerous causes

Agartala, Feb 4 : Thousands of Tripura government school teachers, who had lost their jobs following court verdicts, on Thursday announced to launch their agitation afresh.

Tripura police, however, again denied permission to the former government school teachers to hold sit-in-demonstration, which was forcefully removed after 52 days on January 27, leading to high pitched battle between the protesters and the security forces.

West Tripura district police chief Manik Lal Das told IANS that they denied permission to hold the sit-in “in view of the prevailing law and order sitiation”.

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The spokesman of the agitating teachers, Bijay Krishna Saha, said that as the police declined to allow them to resume the agitation, they would file a case in the high court on Friday seeking intervention of the court to hold the protest in a democratic manner.

“We are keen to continue our agitation until the state government reinstates our jobs,” Saha told the media.

According to the police, Kalyan Das (53), one of the 10,323 retrenched government teachers, died on Wednesday after being distressed and depressed because of losing his government job in March last year. With this, the number of protesting teachers dying due to numerous reasons has gone up to 85.

Braving the cold weather, men and women teachers are hodling an indefinite sit-in in Agartala since the beginning the protest on December 7 last year, demanding restoration of their jobs.

The agitating teachers from undergraduate to postgraduate level have rejected the BJP-led government’s appeal to apply afresh for the vacant posts in different departments for which separate notifications were issued last year.

The ruling BJP in Tripura has claimed that the “politically motivated stirs” are backed by the opposition CPI-M and the protest is similar to the farmers’ agitations in Delhi.

BJP’s chief spokesman Subrata Chakraborty and spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjje in a joint press conference claimed that the protesting farmers in Delhi are carrying CPI-M’s red flags while the agitating teachers in Tripura are raising political slogans against the BJP-led government at the behest of the Left parties.

At least 87 teachers and 17 police personnel were injured in a pitched battle on January 27 after the security forces demolished the tents in which thousands of teachers were holding a sit-in protest for 52 days, demanding restoration of their jobs.

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.

Former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is now the opposition leader, had earlier 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.

The high court had in 2011 and 2014 terminated the services of 10,323 teachers, saying the selection criteria had “discrepancies” and subsequently, the Supreme Court upheld the HC’s decision.

After separate appeals by the previous Left and the incumbent BJP governments, the Supreme Court, however, had extended their services up to March 2020.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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