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Youths continue job protest

Agartala, Jan. 4: A large group of unemployed youths who were unable to get primary school teacher jobs yesterday tried to storm the official residence of Tripura school education minister Tapan Chakraborty this morning in protest.

Policemen on duty outside Chakraborty’s house managed to disperse the crowd around 11.30 this morning after scuffling with the youths for nearly two hours.

The incident occurred a day after disgruntled youths blocked roads and assaulted CPM leaders across the state after offer letters for the appointment of 4,606 primary school teachers started reaching candidates. These incidents follow the Tripura government’s move to recruit primary school teachers without conducting any tests.

Hundreds of youths blocked National Highway 44 at Badharghat between Agartala and Sabroom yesterday for two hours. Before the blockade, the youths ransacked the CPM office at Badharghat.

A large number of local-level CPM leaders are said to be on the run and many of them have taken shelter here.

Police sources said the village home of CPM leader Harishankar Debnath, vice-chairperson of the Bishalgarh panchayat samity, was burnt down last night at Kaiyadhepa.

The police did not comment on the reasons for the attack but a youth, Sujit Karmakar, alleged Debnath had recommended two persons for teaching jobs in lieu of bribes.

In another incident, Sabitri Sarkar, 42, assaulted 58-year-old Manindra Debnath, a CPM local committee member, at Fatikroy in Unakoti district, yesterday. Police sources said Sabitri’s family had donated land for building Fatikroy College in 2002 and she had been promised a government job.

“She was furious on not getting the offer again. Yesterday, local CPM committee members told her Manindra Debnath had prepared the list of beneficiaries. On not finding her name, an infuriated Sabitri beat up Manindra,” a police source said. CPM leader Urmila Reang, 43, managed to flee after a mob set her house ablaze last night.

CPM sources, however, described the protests as a “conspiracy of reactionary forces” against the positive action of the government to give jobs to unemployed youths.

However, CPM state secretary Bijan Dhar admitted the resentment was a result of “imbalance between demand and supply” on the ground, as more than 80,000 unemployed youths are vying for 4,606 jobs.