Kolkata: 6 Teachers Arrested, 12 Injured in Police Lathicharge During Protest
The teachers want a permanent job and better pay.
Six contractual teachers from government schools protesting at Minto Park in Kolkata were arrested, while others were injured when police resorted to lathi charge on Tuesday, April 2. The teachers were demanding higher wages and employment on a permanent basis.
As per a report published in Anandabazaar Patrika, computer teachers have alleged that the West Bengal government has posted them at different schools through a private sub-contractor. Moreover, they are given a meagre salary; they have underlined that they are not getting the stipulated amount.
West Bengal School Computers Teachers’ Welfare Association Joint-secretary Bhupesh Khesh reportedly said, “Around 2,500 teachers were protesting in front of the sub-contractor’s office at Minto Park. Suddenly, the police started beating us up. Twelve teachers were injured during the lathi-charge.”
“The teachers suddenly broke through the barricade and started wreaking havoc at the sub-contractor’s office. To bring the situation under control, we had to enforce mild lathicharge,” the police told the newspaper.
Various teachers’ unions have condemned the action against the protesting teachers. Bengal Teachers and Workers Union General Secretary Swapan Mondal reportedly said, “The teachers were protesting for their demands. We condemn the lathicharge by the police.”
Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) state secretary Chandidas Bhattacharya reportedly asked, “Why are teachers not paid properly if the government is paying the contractor WEBEL around 3.5 lakh every year. The violent police need to be punished.”
As per the report, after the incident at Minto Park, the teachers protested in front of State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee’s residence. Bhupesh Khesh reportedly said, “Unless the minister listens to our grievances we will not leave our agitation in front of his house.”
Seven teachers’ representatives even went inside Chatterjee’s house to meet him. One of the representatives Subhajit Adhikary told the newspaper, “Parth Chatterjee said he is tired now. He asked us to meet him two to three days later.”