Teachers resume stir, say govt failed to keep word

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, January 12

Following the alleged lackadaisical approach of the state government in fulfilling their demands, members of the Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha have restarted the agitation today by burning an effigy of Education Minister OP Soni.

Hundreds of teachers gathered near the CM’s residence here and sat on a dharna for hours. They initiated the protest after the Education Department reopened the online portal for regular job applications for two days.

The protesters alleged that the minister backtracked from his promise made on December 1 following which they had called off their 57-day agitation in Patiala. Morcha leaders said neither the transfers of protesting teachers were cancelled, nor their meeting with the CM was arranged.

Hardeep Toderpur, co-convener of the morcha, said: “Even after 50 days, the promises have not been fulfilled by the government. Besides, teachers who have opted for regularisation on government terms are getting salary on time, while the protesting staff have not been paid for the last eight months.”

The union leaders said SSA/RMSA teachers would hold a protest in front the CM’s residence on Sunday and would ask their salary in Lohri as part of the festival tradition.

‘Soni should resign’

The teachers condemned the Education Minister OP Soni’s recent remark, referring government schools as “dhabhas” and private schools as five-star hotels. Vikram Dev, union leader, said: “If the minister compares government schools to dhabhas, then the department lies in wrong hands. He should resign from his post.”