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Employees cry foul over Odisha govt’s move to hand over SIET to OMSA


Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, May 30:

Employees of the State Institute of Educational Technology (SIET), who have been on a protest against the Odisha Government ever since they were disengaged from the premier institute 14 months ago, were today prevented by the police from entering into the campus.

SIETOdisha Madhyamika Shiksha Mission (OMSA) director Premananda Khuntia, with the help of two platoons of police force, entered the SIET office this morning, allegedly to take over the institute in defiance of a High Court order, protesting employees said.

SIET Staff Co-ordination Committee (SSCC) leader Satyanarayan Sahu said the state government handed over the institution to the OMSA today though the Odisha High Court had ordered a stay over the notification of closure of the institute by the Odisha government after hearing a writ petition filed by SSCC members.

On May 15 last year, the High Court in its order had said, if the petitioners are continuing under the SIET in their services, they shall not be disengaged without leave of this court and their salary shall be paid to them regularly during pendency of this writ petition. It also directed that if the State is proposing to close down the SIET, the closure of the said institution “shall not be implemented without leave of this court.”

“But it is very unfortunate that the Government didn’t abide by the court order,” said Sahu, adding, “The move by the government shows its autocratic attitude and refusal to resolve the longstanding issue.”

It may be noted here that 24 employees have been disengaged by the state government following the notification of closure of the institute. Though the employees had joined the posts created by the government after due process, they were allegedly disengaged without any prior notice.

The SSCC have threatened to file a case under section 420 IPC against the School and Mass Education Secretary and to stage demonstration in front of the residence of the School and Mass Education Minister to protest the ‘illegal’ move by the OMSA to take over the institute.