Agartala, Dec 9 (IANS) The indefinite sit-in by thousands of Tripura government school teachers, who had lost their jobs following court verdicts, continued for the third day on Wednesday even as they rejected Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s offer to apply for the vacant posts.
The leaders of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC), which is spear-heading the agitation, on Wednesday reiterated to intensify their stir until the state government gives them a written assurance about reinstating them.
Deb has asked the agitating teachers to compete for the vacant 9,000 posts in various departments including the Education Department for which the state government has recently issued notifications.
“Instead of doing agitations, these teachers must prepare themselves and apply for their jobs as the government already published the necessary notification to recruit people against 9,000 vacant government posts,” Deb told the media.
JMC’s Joint Convener Dalia Das, however, said that the teachers already completed several years of government service and several of them crossed their stipulated age and thus the Chief Minister’s offer is impractical.
“We had suspended our agitation after the Chief Minister on October 3 assured to take steps to solve our problems permanently within two months. The two months have already lapsed, but the Chief Minister and his government yet to take any step when the teachers are suffering a lot after losing their jobs in March this year,” Das said.
Das’ fellow Joint Convener Bimal Saha said that thousands of teachers, including their family members, are facing enormous hardships for the past nine months while 76 retrenched teachers have already died, with some committing suicide.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Tripura government had earlier given a lump-sum financial aid of Rs 35,000 to 8,882 government school teachers, who lost their jobs from March 31 following the court verdicts which cited “discrepancies in recruitments”.
Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath had earlier said that the teachers has lost their jobs due to the “mistakes and wrong decisions of the previous Left Front government”.
Countering the charge, Left leader and former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had said that after the courts had terminated the jobs of the 10,323 government teachers in 2011, 2014 and 2017, the then Left Front government had created 13,000 posts to accommodate these teachers.
The Tripura High Court in 2011 and 2014 ordered termination of services of all the 10,323 teachers, saying the selection criteria had “discrepancies” and subsequently the Supreme Court upheld the decision. After the then Left and the BJP governments’ separate appeals, the Supreme Court had extended their services up to March this year.