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Tripura House rocked over teachers' job termination issue

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Press Trust of India  |  Agartala 

Tripura Assembly on Friday

witnessed uproarious scenes after the speaker rejected an adjournment motion moved by an opposition CPI(M) member to discuss the plight of 10,323 school teachers who are going to be jobless on March 31 due to a court verdict because of a faulty recruitment process.

Opposition MLAs trooped into the well of the House and shouted slogans demanding that the motion be accepted. The ruling BJP members also raised slogans and the watch and ward staff threw a cordon between the two sides.

Speaker Rebati Mohan Das then adjourned the House for an hour. The opposition members did not join the remaining part of the day's session.

After the budget was presented by Finance Minister Jishnu Dev Barma, CPI(M) member and former education minister Tapan Chakraborty said, the speaker had rejected an adjournment motion for discussing "an important issue" - the plight of the 10,323 school teachers whose services would be terminated on March 31.

Speaker Das said the issue could be discussed in the question-answer session as other business matters are also important.

Chakraborty insisted that other matters should be stopped to deliberate on this issue.

When the speaker again rejected Chakraborty's plea, the entire opposition led by the leader of the opposition Manik Sarkar rushed to the well and started raising slogans.

Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said he would give a statement on the issue if the opposition members return to their seats, but they continued shouting.

Treasury bench members then started shouting against opposition MLAs and the watch and ward staff threw a cordon between the two groups.

The speaker then adjourned the house till 2 pm.

Opposition members did not join the rest of the day's session.

Manik Sarkar, former chief minister, later told reporters that his government had created 13,000 non-technical posts for the 10,323 teachers after the Supreme Court verdict.

"But the posts could not be filled up as the Assembly elections were announced," he said.

The BJP-IPFT government came to power in 2018 and cancelled the 13,000 non-technical posts, Sarkar said and claimed that the apex court recently gave a verdict that the newly created 13,000 posts are not illegal and there is no bar in their recruitment.

He said the teachers are now agitating seeking protection of their jobs but police are "harassing" them on the plea that 144 CrPC was imposed in various parts of the state including the capital town to check coronavirus.

However, Nath who is also the law minister told reporters that the government was sympathetic to the cause of these teachers and the government would move the Supreme Court again as it had earlier cancelled their jobs.

"The issue was discussed in a meeting of the council of ministers headed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb last night," he said.

Sarkar claimed that this is an attempt to delay the process.

A total of 10,323 undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate teachers were appointed in different phases since 2010. The recruitment process was challenged in the Tripura High Court which terminated their services saying the recruitment was faulty.

The then Left Front government moved the Supreme Court against the order but it upheld the high court verdict in March 2017. The teachers were pronounced to retire after December 31, 2017 as per the apex court verdict, after which they were inducted on ad hoc basis.

After the BJP-IPFT government came to power in March 2018, it again appealed to the Supreme Court and it granted them one-time final extension till March 31, 2020.

The teachers facing termination of jobs have been agitating since March 13.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 20 2020. 18:50 IST
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