Mohali becomes a hotbed of protests

Including protests by temporary teachers, patwaris and kanungos, doctors and farmers, 96 stirs have been held in the last two months
Currently ongoing are protests by Punjab’s contractual unemployed teachers outside Punjab School Education Board building in Phase 8, Mohali. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Currently ongoing are protests by Punjab’s contractual unemployed teachers outside Punjab School Education Board building in Phase 8, Mohali. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 12, 2021 12:44 AM IST
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By Hillary Victor, Mohali

Ahead of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections scheduled early next year, Mohali has become a hotbed of protests, keeping the cops of both Chandigarh and Mohali on their toes for the last two months.

UT cops have been permanently deployed at the border of Mohali and Chandigarh to deter protesters from entering the union territory. As per record, around 96 protests, organised by various outfits, have been held in Mohali in the last two months.

Protests are also being held near the farmhouse of Punjab chief minister (CM), Captain Amarinder Singh, near Siswan in Mullanpur, forcing the authorities to permanently depute police force at the site. Only last week, both Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held a big protest against power cuts near the CM’s farm house.

Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Satinder Singh said, “It is the democratic right of the people to hold protests, but we make sure no untoward incident happens and deploy adequate police force.”

Currently ongoing are protests by Punjab’s contractual unemployed teachers, outside Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) building. For the last three weeks, the temporary teachers have been demanding regularisation of their jobs and enhancement in their salaries. There have been several clashes between the protesting teachers and Chandigarh Police, amid use of lathi charge and water cannons.

Even patwaris and kanungos in the district have been on strike since June 22, and revenue work has taken a severe hit. They are protesting over the non-fulfilment of their long-pending demand to fill over 2,800 vacancies.

The members of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) have been holding protests since June 18 against the implementation of the 6th Pay Commission by the Punjab government. The doctors’ protests have affected OPD services and other elective surgeries in government hospitals of the district. The Punjab government has decided to decrease the non-practising allowance of doctors from 25% to 20%, and delinking it to the total salary calculation will actually decrease the salary of already overburdened government doctors.

Also protesting the implementation of the 6th Pay Commission are the members of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union, Mohali, who are regularly holding pen-down strikes in the district. The members of the union are employees of the DC office, PWD office, excise and taxation department, health department, water supply and sanitation department, and others. With this protest, the common man is at the receiving end as no work is being done.

Meanwhile, for the last six months, farmers have been regularly protesting outside Bestech Mall in Sector 66, Sohana gurdwara and at various chowks, demanding rollback of the three agri laws.

General secretary of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association, Dr Manohar Singh, said, “The government must understand the feelings of the people and work towards improving the system, so that people may not be forced to hold protests against the state.”

President of the Elementary Teacher Training-Teacher Eligibility Test (ETT-TET) Qualified Unemployed Teachers’ Union, Deepak Kamboj, said, “It is not easy to protest in the soaring heat. We are helpless as despite our requests, they are not paying heed to our demands. Most of the female teachers have left their families and are protesting.”

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Thursday, October 21, 2021