As the police resorted to lathicharge and use of force to disperse protesting teachers appointed under the education guarantee scheme (EGS), alternative innovative education (AIE) and special trainer (STR) teacher schemes here on Sunday, four of the protesters, including two women and two men, jumped into the Bathinda branch of Sirhind Canal near the Rose Garden here but were rescued by the cops.
Hundreds of the protesters, under the banner of EGS, AIE and STR teachers' union, had gathered in the Rose Garden to stage a protest in support of their demands. In view of the the large number of protesters, a heavy police force was deployed at the site. As the police had closed the gates of the Rose Garden, protesters jumped off the boundary walls of the garden but were arrested by the cops.
Meanwhile, many of the protesters, who had come out of the Rose Garden premises, blocked the road near the canal towards Bhai Kanhaiya Chowk. As the police used force to disperse the protesters, who had blocked road, four of them jumped into the canal.
However, sensing the trouble, deputy superintendent of police (Bhucho) Gurmit Singh Kingra, who had remained a professional swimmer, and assistant sub-inspector Kaur Singh, jumped into the canal and rescued the four. Those who had jumped into the canal have been identified as Tejinder Singh from Tarn Taran, Jarnail Singh, Harpreet Kaur and Mamta, all the three from Jalandhar. Thought the protesters comprised a large number of women, yet the cops beat them up, dragged them and forcibly put them into the vehicles.
With the police having information of the protest by teachers, in the city, a heavy police force was also deployed at the Children's Park and Teacher's Home, but when protesters chose the Rose Garden as the venue of the protest, cops were rushed there.
Over 250 protesters were taken to different police stations in the district and the police were in the process of registering a case against them. Kingra said that the process to register a case against protesters under sections 283, 160, 353, 186 and 188 IPC and Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property and section 65 of the National Highway Act is going on.
Meanwhile, a state committee member of the union Gagan alleged that the police used force on peacefully protesting agitators. She alleged that the state government wasn't ready to regularise their services and they are also not being given proper duties by the state government.
Importantly, the EGS, AIE and STR teachers were recruited by the state government after a long agitation by the union in Bathinda in February 2014 in which a 14-month-old girl child Eknoor Kaur 'Rooth' had died of cold after the district administration had snatched their quilts amid bone-chilling cold.