HC directs govt to pay salary to teacher ‘ousted’ by GJM
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The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to pay the due salary of Manikala Tamang, a primary school teacher in Darjeeling, who was forced to leave the hills in 2008 following threats from Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
Manikala, who is around 56 years old, taught at a primary school in Darjeeling since 1997. Since she was associated with GNLF, GJM's women outfit allegedly started threatening her as the outfit started gaining strength in the hills. She was "forced" to leave Darjeeling and as a result failed to attend school from June 2008.
The state government soon stopped her salary. With the condition in the hills still not "favourable" for her return during 2009 to 2010, Manikala wrote a detailed letter to the chairman of District School Board and Administrator, Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) explaining about her situation. However, no action was taken and she started living outside Darjeeling . In 2011, she approached the District School Board and DGHC urging them to transfer her to Siliguri or nearby areas.
Advocate Anjan Bhattacherjee, counsel of Manikala, said the DGHC sent a letter to his client in September last year asking her to explain why she did not attend the school since 2008. Following such she filed a writ petition in the Calcutta High Court.
After hearing the arguments, Justice Debasish Kargupta today directed the state government to pay her due salary pending since 2008 by September 30. The court also directed the government to consider her transfer by the same date.
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