12 teachers, 5 cops injured during violent protest
At least 12 Elementary Trained Teachers (ETTs), including two women, and five cops were injured after police allegedly resorted to cane charge at them while their protest turned violent in the city.
Five policemen were injured during the protest of the teachers, working under the zila parishad being governed by punjab rural development panchayats department and demanding that they should be appointed directly under the Punjab education department.
However, police said it used force as the protesters became violent during their protest in the city.
The protesters were demanding that they should be appointed directly under the punjab education department from zila parishad forthwith due to job security reasons.
The situation turned volatile, when a group of protesting teachers headed towards the residence of cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia after breaking the barricades, police said.
Amritsar additional deputy commissioner of police Parmpal Singh said the agitating teachers forced police for lathi charge as they took the law and order in their hands while attacking at police.
He said one agitating teacher attacked one police personnel with sharp edged weapon and left him seriously injured.
"Before the situation took worst turn, police contingents were issued orders for lathi charge to stop the violent teachers to continue their march towards the cabinet minister Bikram Majithia's residence," he said.
Maintaining that the lathi charge was "genuine and need of the hour", the ADCP said "the agitating teachers have gone violent, first they damaged the barricades then seriously injured police official with sharp edged weapon, thereafter police were given orders for lathi charge to maintain law and order situation, since it was thickly populated area".
Singh said that the protesting teachers gathered here across Punjab and they knew that Majithia was not available in the city and his house was locked.
"The sole motive of teachers was to get violent and to go at the house of Majithia to create violence in the residential area that was not allowed by police," he said.
Meanwhile, Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha and local MP Amarinder Singh condemned the alleged use of police force on the ETT teachers' "peaceful" protest.
Amarinder said, the ETT teachers were trying to hold a peaceful demonstration and they should have been allowed to do that.
He said, the particular officer who was leading the police contingent resorted to unprovoked use of force on the peaceful teachers apparently to please his political bosses.
The Amritsar MP, in a statement, assured the victimised ETT teachers that he will ensure that the particular officer was brought to the book for his brutalities.
He said this was extreme of authoritarian behaviour of the SAD-BJP government which was using some of its ultra-loyalist police officials to resort to excesses on peaceful demonstrators.
"Peaceful protest is everybody's democratic right but the Akalis were not only denying the same to the people but even gagging their voice," Amarinder said.