Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 31:
Block Grant school teachers of Odisha today clashed with the cops in Odisha capital while on their way to gherao the Assembly.
The incident occurred after the agitators attempted to break the security barricade near Lower PMG. The cops arrested 300 teachers to avoid any untoward incident, said Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrta Bhoi.
Besides, dozens fainted in the excruciating heat.
The teachers, under the banner of School Teachers’ Federation of Odisha (STFO), have been demanding abolition of block grant system, full grant-in-aid and equal pay for equal work among others.
“We have been on the streets to press for our demands since long. The government keeps making assurances and keeps breaking them. Now the government is using the police to attack the teachers who are protesting peacefully. We will take this incident to the villages of Odisha. The people will teach them a lesson in the next election,” said President of STFO Prakash Chandra Mohanty.
On the other hand, the contractual teachers of the state today staged demonstrations across the state in front of District Education Officer (DEO) offices demanding that they be reinstated in their jobs.
“The Government was supposed to issue engagement orders today. They also published advertisements in newspapers and it is there in their website; however, the letters were not issued today,” said Pratima Mallick, a contractual teacher who had lost her job.
Curiously, the minister said that the government is still considering their demands.
“The proposal is still under consideration of the inter-ministerial committee. We are considering the legal aspects and the financial implication before taking a call. This is a minor delay. They shouldn’t be worried,” said School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra.
It may also be mentioned that 488-Category Block Grant College lecturers of Odisha today threatened to boycott the evaluation of Plus Two examination answer papers after a meeting with the state government failed to yield any result.