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Teacher scandal: 3 CPM leaders suspended

Jalpaiguri, Sept. 20: The CPM has suspended three Jalpaiguri district leaders for their alleged role in the 2010 primary teacher recruitment scandal where relatives of party leaders had been accused of grabbing posts.

The leaders were handed suspension orders yesterday after they were indicted by a three-member committee constituted by the CPM to look into the allegations.

The district secretary of the All Bengal Teachers Association, Manoranjan Bhadra, a member of the Jalpaiguri sadar zonal committee of the CPM, Bipul Sanyal, and the party’s district committee member and the secretary of the All Bengal Primary Teachers Association, Biresh Sikdar, were suspended for six months. The ABTA and ABPTA are the affiliates of the CPM.

The Jalpaiguri district secretary of the CPM, Krishna Banerjee, termed the suspensions as the party’s ongoing process of “rectification”. The district primary school council had conducted a recruitment examination in May, 2010, and 1,415 people were given appointment letters in June that year.

Soon, allegations cropped up that relatives the former CPM district secretary Manik Sanyal, the ex-chairman of the district primary school council, Mrinal Pal, and many other leaders had been appointed as primary schoolteachers. The names of many party members also figured in the appointment list.With the Congress launching a movement against the scandal, the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government carried out an inquiry and Mrinal Pal was removed from his post as the chairman of the district primary school council.

The school education department also showcaused 423 of the appointed teachers after anomalies were found in the recruitment. The enquiry committee set up by the CPM was composed of the party’s district secretariat members, Nabin Dasgupta, Mrinal Roy and Bijoybandhu Majumdar. Although the suspension notices were given to the trio yesterday, Bipul Sanyal was seen with bandh supporters in front of the LIC office at Shantipara today.

Sanyal refused to comment on the issue.District CPM secretary Krishna Banerjee said the suspensions were entirely an “internal matter of the party”.

“All I can say is that it is part of the rectification process in our party. The suspensions have been ordered after specific charges were brought against the three leaders.” Biresh Sikdar confirmed the news. “I have accepted the letter and will give my reply in writing to the party. If action against us has come out in the open though it is an internal matter of the CPM, it shows the weakness of the organisation,” he said.