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Issue of ReT teachers rocks J&K Assembly

Police resorted to lathicharge on the peaceful demonstrators, injuring at least 50 ReT agitators.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2007 17:28 IST

While the issue of raising the salaries of Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers rocked the proceedings of the ongoing Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, the issue took an ugly turn on the streets of Jammu where police resorted to lathicharge on the peaceful demonstrators, injuring at least 50 ReT agitators.

Ironically, the City North police failed to identify the demonstrators and even entered the premises Sri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) hospital and mercilessly assaulted a many attendants and patients in the hospital premises.

According to eyewitnesses, a police contingent headed by SP City North, Sanjay Kotwal resorted to lathicharge on the ReT teachers that were peacefully holding protest demonstration in support of their demands.

Police fired in the air to disperse the gathering of the leaders of J&K Rehbar-e-Taleem teacher Forum.

Soon after the start of Zero Hour in the Legislative Assembly, former Education Minister and sitting Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) MLA Harsh Dev Singh stood and raised the issue hike in the salaries of ReT Teachers from Rs 1,500 per month to Rs 3,000 per month.

Singh reminded the treasury benches that a year ago, the then deputy chief minister on behalf of coalition government had categorically assured the House that genuine demand of ReT teachers would be considered.

“However,” MLA Harsh Dev Singh added, “even after one year, government has yet to consider the demand of ReT Teachers.”

Responded to the issue, Minister for Education, Peerzada Mohammad Syed said that “today and tomorrow, a meeting of the CM with the Committee members would be convened and what ever would the outcome of that meeting, measures would be taken accordingly.”

On this, Harsh Dev Singh stood and demanded from the chair for an issuance of breach of privilege motion as when the government had already made a commitment in the august House to consider the demand of ReT teachers, then why holding of new meetings.

All the members of National Conference as well as BJP and JSM MLA too joined Singh and other JKNPP MLAs and came in the first row of the House. They voiced in support of ReT Teachers and raised slogans for justice to the striking teachers and did not allow the proceedings of the House for at least 10 minutes. When Speaker Tara Chand asked the Members to return to their seats, failing which he would adjourn the session, the agitating MLAs raised slogans against the government and staged walkout from the Legislative Assembly.

Speaker, Tara Chand adjourned the proceedings of the House for 15 minutes. However, issue did not end there as when police resorted to lathi-charge on ReT Teachers at Shalimar Road here and injured dozens of striking teachers, JKNPP MLA Balwant Singh Mankotia again disrupted the proceedings of afternoon session of Legislative Assembly and condemned the police action. He sought directions from the chair, following which, deputy Speaker, on chair, asked the Minister for Law to examine the case of ReT for an early solution.

But MLA Mankotia continued his protest standing in the first row and demanded action against the police officers responsible for the lathi-charge. When deputy Speaker did not allow Mankotia and asked him to return to his seat, Mankotia staged walkout in support of ReT teachers.

Email Zorawar Jamwal: zorawarjamwal123@rediffmail.com