West Bengal: Teachers Demanding Hike In Pay Clash With Police In Siliguri
On Monday, a clash occurred in the northern West Bengal city of Siliguri between members of two teachers’ organizations supported by the CPI(M) and the police. The All Bengal Teachers’ Association (ABTA) and All Bengal Primary Teachers’ Association (ABPTA) were marching towards the north Bengal secretariat of the state government, called ‘Uttar Kanya’, from Jalpai More to voice their demands. However, they were stopped at the Tinbatti More area, where the police had placed a barricade. When the protesters tried to break through the barricade, a clash erupted, and the police had to use “mild force” and water cannons to disperse the crowd.
According to a police officer, the protesters were attempting to enter an area where prohibitory orders were in place. Later, a delegation of five teachers went to the secretariat to submit a memorandum outlining their demands to the state government. The demands include an increase in dearness allowance, non-implementation of NEP 2020, recruitment of eligible teaching job aspirants, and the arrest of all those accused in the school jobs scam.
Bikash Bhattacharya, a CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP who led the march, accused the TMC government of being anti-teacher and anti-people, citing the police action against the teachers. Several protesters were detained and then released, according to police. The CPI(M) alleged that many teachers were injured in the police action, but the police claimed they did not have any information regarding serious injuries to any protester.