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The Tamil Nadu government today informed the Madras High Court that a total of 33,487 government teachers, affiliated to six unions, were abstaining from work across the state. Additional Advocate General Venkatramani representing the state government informed this to the court in an affidavit containing replies to various other queries raised yesterday by Justice N Kirubakaran with regard to a section of government teachers who are on strike pressing for their demands. In its affidavit, the state government further said that retired teachers were also working as office-bearers in the unions. The High Court had yesterday pulled up a section of Tamil Nadu government school teachers who are on strike, saying it affected students. Justice Kirubakaran made the observations on a petition by advocate A P Suryaprakasam, seeking a direction to the state government to form an expert committee to prepare students who scored low marks in NEET (National Eligibility- cum-Entrance Test) and provide them moral support. The court had also sought information from the authorities concerned on the number of teachers unions striking without attending classes, among others. The Joint Action Council of Teachers Organisations and Government Employees Organisations (JACTO-GEO) had given a call for the strike from September 7 to press for their demands, including restoration of the old pension scheme.
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