As protests by teachers and farmers continue, Punjab’s Sangrur resembles Delhi’s Jantar Mantar
As unemployed unions of B.Ed and ETT teachers, aggrieved farmers, and other organisations march to Sangrur protesting against the government, the scenes outside the district administration complex have started to closely resemble Delhi’s Jantar Mantar which has been the hub of various protests and demonstrations for years.
Sangrur has been witnessing four protests in a week on an average with leaders of opposition parties, including the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) visiting the town to extend their support to protesters.
Several other associations like Sikh outfits, Freedom Fighters Descendants’ Association, Dalit bodies, anganwadi workers and government employees too held protests in the town this month.
As the ongoing protest by Unemployed BEd Teachers’ Union seeking jobs entered the 21st day on Saturday, with five of its members continuing their hunger strike for the 11th day, civil and police officials are often on their toes to control the law and order situation.
The protest ETT-TET Unemployed Teachers’ Union entered the 24th day with five of its members perched atop a water tank. The police and civil administration had forcibly shifted three protesters, who were on indefinite hunger strike, to the civil hospital.
Police also lathi-charged and used water cannons to disperse 200-odd protesting members of ETT-TET Unemployed Teachers Union outside the residence of state education minister Vijay Inder Singla on Sunday.
Leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, Punjab Ekta Party founder member Sukhpal Singh Khaira and SAD leader Jagmeet Brar, among others, called on these protesters separately and expressed their support.
“The government has failed to provide us jobs. We will visit villages across the state to expose the government ahead of bypolls in Punjab,” said Randeep Sangatpura, state press secretary of BEd Teachers’ Union.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ghanshyam Thori said a meeting of all teachers’ unions has been fixed with the state officials on September 30.
Meanwhile, the Kirti Kisan Union concluded their three-day protest on Friday.
The farmers had demanded a total debt waiver, long-term loans on small instalments and safety of Punjab’s river waters.
SSP Sandeep Garg said the law and order situation in Sangrur is under control.
“But sometimes we have to deploy heavy police force to keep protesters in check.”
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- They were booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act 1985 on Friday and the process for their remand is on.