With the Lok Sabha elections approaching fast, activists of different teachers' unions have started making the city their venue for protest. The police administration, too, is opposing such attempts with all its might.
Activists of two teachers unions staged protests in city on Sunday. On the one hand, the protesting teachers recruited as education providers under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan faced water cannons and police batons, the protesting teachers of Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) climbed a water tank on Mall Road here.
General secretary of education providers union Kuldeep Singh Badhuwal said teachers recruited under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan in the state have been demanding regularisation of their services but to no avail.
He claimed that the teachers were staging a peaceful protest on Sunday but the police administration resorted to lathicharge and use of water cannons without any provocation. As many as 6,980 teachers who have been recruited as education providers are demanding regularisation of their services, he added.
However, Bhucho deputy superintendent of police Gurmeet Singh Kingra denied of having resorted to lathicharge and said police used water cannons to disperse the protesting union members. He added that the police have to take action as the protesters were insisting on blocking the road despite of assurance by the administration on arranging their meeting with education minister Sikander Singh Maluka.
In another protest, barely a week after police resorted to lathicharge on them and used of water cannons at Bhokra village, activists of the Employment Guarantee Scheme Teachers' Union climbed a water tank on Mall Road in Bathinda and staged a protest.
Union president Sukhchain Singh Mansa said they have been protesting in support of their genuine demands for the past more than 50 days, but instead of listening to their grievances the state government is using force to suppress their voice.
He said the EGS teachers recruited by the state government and were asked to complete ETT course, which they did. He lamented that despite having completed the ETT course, which makes them eligible for government job, they have been denied their due.
Sukhchain Singh said they have been staging protests across the state in support of their demands and have now decided to intensify their struggle at Bathinda only.