|Teachers of Darrang district at the protest rally in Mangaldoi on Friday. Picture by UB Photos
Mangaldoi/Guwahati, Oct. 4: Thousands of teachers, mostly women, from all over Darrang district today assembled at the district library in Mangaldoi, 65km from Guwahati, seeking strong action against the accused in the October 1 Dalgaon rape case and demanding safety of teachers working in remote areas.
The protesters then marched towards the deputy commissioner’s office carrying placards and raising slogans at noon, disrupting traffic on the busy NH52 (now renamed as NH15) for an hour.
The placards read: “We want justice, transfer lady teachers to safer place, punish the guilty person involved in the rape case, give compensation to the victim, hang the rapist, provide security to the teachers” and “Give fast-track judgment”, among others.
The victim, a schoolteacher who was returning home after work, in her FIR lodged at Dalgaon police station alleged that she was raped by two persons at Chikonmati tea estate around 1.30pm. The two accused, Mushlimuddin and Joynal Abedin, were arrested by police and remanded in three days’ police custody yesterday. Dalgaon is 85km from Guwahati.
The protesters submitted separate memoranda to the chief minister and education minister through the deputy commissioner. “We want immediate justice and security to serve without fear. We would like to request every person to co-operate with teachers serving in their areas,” said a female schoolteacher.
Though a high-level inquiry is likely to be instituted by tomorrow, the chief minister has already directed the police and civil administrations to quickly register cases of crimes and atrocities against women and to expedite the process of investigation so that the victims get justice without delay.
Gogoi also directed the state home department, which is under him, to identify vulnerable spots prone to crimes against women and chalk out a working plan to prevent them and fast-track trials in such cases.
He also mooted setting up crisis intervention centres comprising representatives of the police, doctors, advocates and NGOs, which will act as a support system for the victims and help them get swift justice.
Members of the Mangaldoi Zilla Madhyamik Sikshak Karmachari Santha, Mangaldoi Zilla High School Teachers Association, Mangaldoi Zilla ME School Teachers Association, Sadou Mangaldoi MV School Sikshak Santha, Darrang District Higher Secondary Teachers Association, Sadou Mangaldoi Prathamik Bidyalaya Sikshak Sanmiloni and Darrang district Secondary Additional Teachers Association were part of the protest.
The Mangaldoi College Teachers Association, Mangaldoi Zilla Karmachari Parishad, Darrang Gana Jagaron Manch joined the protest too.
The Mangaldoi Zilla Karmachari Parishad in its memorandum demanded placement of teachers within a 5km radius from their homes.
The Nath Jogi Sanmilani of Darrang district took out a separate rally.