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Why Are Aspiring Teachers Protesting in Bihar? What Went Down at the Protests?

Patna Police on Monday, 22 August, lathicharged aspiring teachers protesting against a delay in their recruitment.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

Patna Police on Monday, 22 August, lathicharged and deployed water cannons on hundreds of aspiring teachers protesting against a delay in their recruitment.

Bihar Teacher Eligibility Test (BTET) and Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) candidates were injured and detained during the protests, which started at 10 am on Monday, congesting the crucial Dak Bungalow intersection in the city for four hours.

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Why Are the Aspirants Protesting

The demonstrators are agitating against persistent delays in issuing of the official notification crucial for their appointment.

Asserting that they have been unemployed despite qualifying the two eligibility tests, the aspirants claimed on Monday that the Education Ministry had declared in writing in the past that the notification would be issued latest by 7 August.

However, nothing has been done yet.

Those protesting, while appealing to Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav to fasten up the process, alleged on Monday that as many as 50,000 out of 90,000 teachers' posts were vacant.

"When we met Tejashwi Ji before he became deputy CM, he had told us that the situation would be better once the government in Bihar changed. Now that it has, why are they not doing anything about our distress?" the protestors asked.

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What Has Tejashwi Yadav Said

Responding to the protesters, Tejashwi Yadav, who stepped in as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's deputy after the recent political upheaval in the state, said that the new government was working towards providing 20 lakh jobs to the youth.

"The BJP has wasted two years but now we are working. Please don't panic and have patience," he said in a statement.

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What Transpired at the Protests

Besides the lathicharge and the water cannons, an official brutally thrashed a young protester holding a Tricolour.

He was dragged and beaten up despite peacefully protesting, a video which went viral on social media revealed.

State Congress spokesperson Asit Nath Tiwari, whose party is an ally of the ruling coalition, condemned the episode saying that "beating up a young man who posed no menace is unacceptable."

The administration has set up a two-member enquiry committee to look into the allegations and examine the video footage, the Patna district magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh said.

“The committee will submit its report in two days and action may be taken accordingly,” he added.

The Backdrop

The demonstrators, who have been protesting against their unemployment for the past three years, were promised in 2021 that the notification would come out by January this year.

When that did not happen, the eligible candidates protested in May, following which they were reassured that the process would be completed by August.

The candidates took to the streets on Monday when that promise too went unfulfilled.

The teachers' union leading the protests added that this time the demonstration will not be rolled back until their demands were met.

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