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Darjeeling teacher transfers on hold

- State government sends halt order

Darjeeling, Dec. 28: The education directorate of the state government has written to the Darjeeling Government College asking it withhold the transfers of three teachers, whose shunting out the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had objected to.

The indefinite shutdown of the administrative wing of the institution by the Vidyarthi Morcha that started on December 22 was lifted following the order.

The education directorate had transferred Sherpa Bhutia, Willey Henry and Binod Chandra Sharma, professors of geography, zoology and botany, respectively, earlier this month.

While Bhutia was transferred to Chandernagore Government College, the other two professors were shifted to ABN Seal College in Cooch Behar.

Bhutia and Henry’s transfer orders were received on November 30. Sharma’s order came later.

Morcha chief and GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung had asked the state government not to transfer the professors till the college was handed over to the hill body.

He had also directed the Vidyarthi Morcha to shut down the office of the college indefinitely from to ensure that the release orders of the teachers could not issued.

All three teachers are local hill residents.

“The strike was withdrawn today as the state government has decided not to transfer the teachers,” said Ashok Chhetri, the vice-president of the Morcha.

The director of public instruction, who is also the ex-officio secretary with the state higher education department, in a letter (No 750-admn. dated December 27, 2012) addressed to the college principal stated that: “The undersigned has been directed to inform her (the principal) not to release the three teachers (WBES) of her college ……….. till further notification.”

“This is not a political issue. We had prayed that our transfers be withheld largely on administrative grounds,” Sherpa Bhutia said.

Gurung’s decision of not accepting the transfers looked more as an effort to stop the state government from interfering with subjects and departments that are to be handed over to the GTA.

Under the GTA pact, the government is supposed to transfer the college to the hill body. Observers said the decision of not transferring the teachers was to ensure that the cordial relations between Gurung and the state is intact.