The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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No-pay teacher in SFI firing line

Purulia, Nov. 13: Police had to rescue a teacher of the Purulia Homeopathy College who was roughed up by Students’ Federation of India (SFI) supporters today for speaking in public about problems facing the institution.

Leaders of the students’ wing of the CPM said they were protesting against mismanagement at the institution and the absence of teachers. Earlier this week, about 200 students of the 20-year-old college locked the main building, preventing the principal and administrative employees from entering office.

The students alleged that classes were not being held for the past three months and there was no class at all since November 6, when 40 teaching and non-teaching employees of the college boycotted work seeking salary due since August.

“We have repeatedly informed the authorities concerned and written several letters but the arrears continue to build up,” said teachers’ council secretary M.. Jana. “How will we run our households and pay our children’s school fees without salary'” he asked.

“We have decided to go on an indefinite boycott till a solution is reached,” he told newsmen yesterday. Jana’s outburst against the CPM-led government’s inability to pay the college teachers their monthly salary incurred the wrath of the SFI.

Today, students gheraoed Jana, pushed him around and hurled abuse. He was released after the police arrived almost two hours later.

Tension in the college spread to surrounding areas in the Nadiha neighbourhood of Purulia town.

The college, run with government funds for the past six years, is the only one of its kind in Purulia and Bankura. From this year, students are being admitted to the college on the basis of the joint entrance examination. “In previous years, new students would have been enrolled by August and the development fees (donations) would have been collected, enabling payment of salaries. This year, the list of new students has just come in,” said principal Sivaprasad Mahato.

The annual grant of Rs 6 lakh, usually provided by the government by March, has not arrived yet. “The college is going through a severe financial crisis,” said Mahato.

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