Unemployed teachers start dharna, allege police action
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Hundreds of unemployed teachers belonging to the TET Pass Unemployed Teachers Union Punjab along with their families began their indefinite protest dharna at Jalandhar bypass on Sunday. The dharna, as per district president of the union Deep Raja, "will continue till the time the state government does not accept our demand".
The dharna first began near the Dana Mandi in the noon. When the protesters wanted to shift to the nearby Karabara chowk, the police resorted to lathicharge to control the crowd.
While the teachers claim that they were beaten up by the police, the police deny the charges. "The police beat up our women colleagues and even snatched their dupattas. The police even removed turbans of some of the protesters. Some of our colleagues have been hurt but we are steadfast in our demands. We want a meeting with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the entire education panel, and nothing less. Till that time, we will not move from this place come what may," said Raja.
However, DCP Gurpreet Singh Toor said, "There has been no lathicharge. The allegation that male police manhandled women teachers is all false. Only the women cops were controlling the women protesters. We are trying to do our best. We too have our limits but these people do not realise this fact."
Amandeep Singh Phul, state president of the union, said, "Even we do not like creating inconvenience for the general public but the truth is that despite a-year-and-a-half-long agitation and three huge rallies in Ludhiana alone, the state government is not heeding to our demands. We are demanding that out of the 5,078 teachers required by the state government, 2,000 each should be of Punjabi and Social Studies. Apart from this, posts for Hindi teachers should be created.
We also demand that the state government should hand over appointment letters to 3,442 teachers employed by the State Education Department and 1,273 teachers counselled for the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan immediately."
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