An "over the top" protest of job aspirants who have cleared the Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) entered second day here on Monday.
On Sunday evening, the teachers climbed atop a water tank at Lehra Dhurkot village on the Patiala highway, forcing diversion of traffic. The protesters raised slogans against the Punjab government and charged it with backtracking on promises.
The 21 teachers, including eight women, atop the tank have threatened suicide by jumping off the new structure. Other teachers support them from the ground. One of the teachers cut his vein symbolically to put pressure on the administration. The group seeks appointment letters.
The efforts of the administration failed to bring down the teachers or their anger. Even the assurance of a meeting with education minister Sikander Singh Maluka had no effect. "The protesting teachers are all well qualified," said Ajay Kumar Hoshiarpur, leader of the unemployed teachers' union.
"We have all cleared the TET, and had no job for a long time. The government promised us employment on winning another term. The promise is undelivered."
The state government wanted to avoid issuing teachers their appointment letters, said Hoshiarpur. "We will not step back," he said. "The recruitment process started about a year ago, and we still haven't been appointed."
The traffic on the Bathinda-Chandigarh road is interrupted now for more than 24 hours.