If the first family of the state has pulled up its socks anticipating parliamentary elections, the employee unions have also girded up their loins for agitations to complete the poll-time scene.
A day after linemen, it was teachers' turn to brave a baton charge by the police. The linemen were thrashed at Maur Mandi near Bathinda during a big rally by three big leaders from the state's ruling Badal family, and on Friday, special teachers were beaten up in Lambi to stop their march towards Badal, native village of the chief minister.
The people beaten up teach disabled children in government schools, and they had only asked for pay increase. They have not been paid their wages for June, when the schools are closed for summer break. Nearly 100 teachers gathered at Mann Singh Stadium in Lambi to march towards the house of CM Parkash Singh Badal. As they blocked traffic on the Lambi-Dhabwali road, the police cracked down on them with canes and batons.
The police chased teachers to beat them up. Eight teachers, including four women, were injured in the assault. Cases were made out against nine teachers on a charge of obstructing the police and blocking a national highway. "We are paid negligible salary," said Deepak Kumar, president of the special teachers' union, "yet the government has not paid us for June. We protest as last resort."