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Teacher stir ends in Gumla

Ranchi, Aug. 13: Government teachers of Gumla district, who had gone on an indefinite strike on Monday demanding that they be transferred in the wake of the kidnap of a headmaster and his sister, also a school teacher, resumed work today after the authorities accepted most of their demands.

The teachers, posted at government-run middle and primary schools in remote areas, had sought monetary compensation for the family of Prakash and Saraj Toppo, compensatory jobs for the next of kin, transfer of district superintendent of education (DSE) and transfer of all such teachers facing threat.

“DSE Sachchidanand Tigga has been transferred since he was not coming to office for the past three days without informing anyone. We have also transferred head clerk Rahman Ansari, who allegedly demanded bribe from teachers visiting the DSE’s office for various works,” said Gumla DC Veena Shrivastava.

She said that she would immediately initiate the move to give jobs to the deceased’s kin. “The compensation committee meeting will be held on August 21, where we will recommend jobs. If the police inquiry report says that the two were killed by a rebel outfit, their kin will get Rs 4 lakh. But if it is the handiwork of any criminal group, then separate rules will be applicable.”

A committee, headed by SDM A. Todde, has been also formed to examine the threat posed to other teachers. Corrective measures will be taken accordingly.

Prakash Toppo, a middle school headmaster, was abducted from Ghaghra area on August 6 on his way home from his school at Bansari village. The abductors had demanded Rs 3 lakh for his safe release. Instead of informing police, his family decided to directly strike a deal with kidnappers. His elder sister Saroj left home with the ransom amount late on Thursday evening, but did not return.

Their bodies were recovered on Saturday.

About a month ago, Prakash had requested the Gumla DSE to transfer him elsewhere as local goons were hassling him for levy and had even threatened to eliminate him. He had also approached police, but his complaint was not taken seriously.

But Gumla SP Bheemsen Tuti said that had police been informed about the abduction on time, the twin tragedies could have been averted.

He urged the teachers to contact him immediately whenever they faced any type of threat and promised to not reveal the identity of the informers.