Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 26:
Agitating contractual teachers and police today confronted each other near lower PMG of Odisha capital while the teachers were on their way to gherao Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence.
Earlier in the day, the teachers blocked master canteen square of the city for about two hours. Even though the blockade has now been removed, the teachers continue to agitate near Lower PMG. Many of leaders of the agitating teachers including their president have been arrested by the police as a preventive measure.
“The teachers were agitating peacefully. However, the police took excessive action and arrested our president among others. Our demand is a legitimate one. The government has taken away jobs of thousands of teachers to hide its own failure. We want the government to give a written explanation for the lay-offs. The agitation would be intensified further,” said the Secretary of the contractual teachers.
The treasurer of teachers demanded immediate release of the arrested teachers and threatened to take law into their hands if the government fails to meet their demands.
“The State Government always takes a careless approach when it comes to teachers. It shouldn’t have appointed the contractual teachers after knowing that there is a stay order from the court. Many of us left their jobs to join as contractual teachers. What would we do now after the government cancels our appointment? We want the government to answer whose fault it is,” said an agitating teacher.
“We are talking to the teachers to sort out the issue. Besides, we will request the court to reconsider the case of contractual teachers. Keeping in mind that the HSC examinations are ahead, we will ask the court in our petition to take decision so that the studies of students are not hampered,” said School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra reacting to the development.
In the meanwhile, in its hearing today, the High Court rejected the compliance report submitted by the government and asked it to resubmit the report in the contempt of court in appointment of contractual teachers case. Next hearing of the case has been scheduled on December 1. Notably, on November 21, the court had asked the State Government to apprise it of the steps taken by the School and Mass Education Department on November 26 in the case.