Amid making two futile attempts to climb atop a water tank in the chief minister’s Badal village in Muktsar, unemployed teachers have been sitting on a dharna at the neighbouring Jaisingwala village, occupying the water tank there, for the past five months.
The protesters, who have cleared the teacher eligibility test, have been demanding jobs against more than 7,000 vacant posts in primary schools across the state. Many of these protesters had even attended counselling during the recruitments to fill 2,000 posts in September.
They have now resolved to intensify their agitation with the state elections round the corner.
“We have faced police lathis both in Badal village and Bathinda, but we will not budge. Two of our fellow protesters on Thursday climbed atop a mobile tower near Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh,” said Pawan Kumar, addressing other jobless teachers at the protest site in Jaisinghwala on Friday.Talking to HT, the protesters accused the state government of “scuttling” their chances of employment after clearing the TET, with many of them being allegedly “dropped” after counselling.
They said the Badal government has conducted the exam five times since 2011, with the last exercise conducted in December 2015, when 4,500 more people were added to the army of about 26,000 unemployed teachers amid thousands of vacancies.
Resolving to intensify the agitation, Pawan said: “We will reach the venue and protest at every event that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal attends, be it the World Kabaddi Cup, a ‘sangat darshan’ or any other public meeting.”