Protesting Teachers Clash With Police Outside Tripura CM’s House

Police used teargas shells and water cannon on unemployed teachers protesting outside the CM’s residence. 

2 min read
Agartala: Police personnel use tear gas shells on teachers to disperse them during their protest, in Agartala, Wednesday, 27 January 2021. The authorities-imposed restrictions under Section 144 in the city amid the ongoing protest of teachers.

The Tripura Police on Wednesday, 27 January, used tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse unemployed teachers who had gathered outside the residence of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in state capital Agartala, demanding a permanent source of livelihood, reported news agency ANI.

The ruckus outside the chief minister’s residence unfolded barely hours after the police arrested over 300 agitating teachers and razed their protest venue near Agartala’s city centre.

According to news agency UNI, the pre-dawn arrest carried out by the police came hours after the District Magistrate of West Tripura imposed Section 144 in the Agartala Municipal Area, preventing the assembly of four of more people.

What happened in Tripura?

  • On the night of 26 January, protesting teachers took out a candle march in Agartala and had planned to march up to the state secretariat, where they planned to press Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb for a permanent solution to their unemployment.
  • Fearing the outbreak of violence and danger to public life and property, the District Magistrate said there was “sufficient ground for imposing restrictions.”
  • Protesters claim the police barged into their tents while they were sleeping and took away several of their leaders and even seized food grains from the venue.

How did the teachers lose their jobs?

Hired in phases since the year 2010, the appointment of around 10,323 teachers was struck down by the high court of Tripura in 2014, which cited irregularities in the hiring process.

The high court’s ruling was subsequently challenged both by Tripura and the teachers in the Supreme Court, which upheld the HC’s order.

Although around 8,000 teachers were reappointed on an ad-hoc basis, their tenure came to an end in March 2020, rendering them unemployed again. In the wake of their unemployment, the teachers formed three organisations – Justice for 10323, Amra 10323 and All Tripura Ad Hoc Teachers’ Association.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Satyajit Dey, the Convener of Amra 10323, had claimed that over 75 teachers had died since they lost their jobs and that the going had become difficult for all of them.

What did the government do?

In September 2020, Tripura’s cabinet had allowed 9,686 out of 10,323 sacked teachers to apply for around 9,700 vacant positions under non-technical Group-C positions. The government had said that the vacant positions would be notified and filled in a phased manner.

Additionally, the sacked teachers were given an age relaxation till 31 March 2023, reports The Indian Express. Subsequently, in November 2020, the Tripura government had announced that it would appoint around 3,970 teachers across all levels in government schools.

(With inputs from ANI, UNI and The Indian Express)

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