Woman tonsures head as protest by job aspirants enters 1,000th day in Kolkata
A few thousand candidates, who cleared the State-Level Selection Test conducted by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission in 2016 but didn’t get the job allegedly due to recruitment scam in the state, have been protesting in central Kolkata since March 2021
Two protestors, including a woman, shaved their heads as protests by job aspirants demanding jobs in state-run schools in West Bengal entered 1,000th day in Kolkata on Saturday.
As the protest gathered steam, leaders of all political parties, including the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and its arch rival the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rushed to the protest site in central Kolkata.
A few thousand candidates, who cleared the State-Level Selection Test (SLST for classes 9 to 12) conducted by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission (WBCSSC) in 2016 but didn’t get the job allegedly due to recruitment scam in the state, have been protesting in central Kolkata since March 2021.
“We are all educated and have cleared the exam. But still we are sitting on the roads. What is our fault? When we will get our rightful job?” Rashmani Patra, the woman protestor who shaved her head, told the media as she broke down into tears.
On Saturday, several protestors opened their shirts and sat on the protest shouting slogans and demanding jobs.
“A woman job aspirant had to shave her head. The state government should see this and feel ashamed,” Biman Bose, Left Front chairman, told the media.
“It is very unfortunate and sensitive. They have lost valuable eight years from their lives. We believe that this government will not be able to find a solution. Only when the new government comes, this problem can be solved,” said Samik Bhattacharya, BJP spokesperson.
In May 2022, the Calcutta high court ordered the CBI to probe the alleged scam. Later, the ED also started a parallel probe to unearth the money trail. Three TMC legislators, including the former state education minister, have already been arrested and are now lodged in the jail.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh also rushed to the protest site and could be seen speaking with the protestors. He is also learnt to have spoken to the state education minister from the spot.
“The chief minister and the state education minister both want that the successful candidates should get jobs. TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had earlier met them too. The state education minister will meet a delegation of the job aspirants on Monday. We are trying to find a solution. The matter is now sub-judice. There are some bottlenecks,” Ghosh told media persons.