The Telegraph
Saturday , September 29 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Steps to silence voice of dissent

- Teachers face axe, RJD terms protest ‘jan akrosh’

Patna/Darbhanga, Sept. 28: Eleven contractual teachers in Darbhanga might lose their job for raising voice against the chief minister in a political rally.

Nitish Kumar, probably for the first time, has faced slippers and eggs thrown at him by teachers on contract at various Adhikar Yatra rallies in the past week.

The action against the teachers comes as an enraged chief minister requested the protesting teachers behave more “disciplined” as their “vocation demands so”.

Darbhanga district education officer (DEO) Chandra Shekhar Kumar has ordered the local recruitment unit to take action against 11 teachers — Sanjay Mahato, Meena Kumari, Bibha Kumari, Prem Lata, Balram Ram, Sagir Ahmad, Mohammad Rizullah, Mohammad Nasir, Uday Chandra Mishra, Sharwan Chaupal and Krishna Paswan — who participated in the anti-Nitish protests on Wednesday.

The education department has not only backed the officer’s decision but also indicated that teachers who had taken part in protests in several other venues, including Begusarai yesterday, could face similar action.

“At least two steps would be taken against the teachers. First, departmental proceedings will be started against them for indiscipline and violating service conditions. Secondly, FIR will be lodged against them for vandalism on the basis of video footage,” said education department deputy director R.S. Singh, adding that departmental proceedings might lead to dismissal in service.

However, action like this did not deter the contractual teachers to vent their ire against the chief minister even in Madhepura today where a slipper was thrown towards his stage.

The contractual teachers, once recruited by the Nitish government, have been demanding regularisation of service for long.

Nitish had displayed his anger against contractual teachers who raised slogans, waved black flags and even shown slippers. The chief minister had warned them and on two occasions, he lost his temper asking policemen to remove them from the spot.

DEO Kumar said: “The teachers in Darbhanga did not follow the service code and had gone to a political party’s programme. They also behaved indiscipline, unbecoming of a teacher, in that assembly being addressed by the chief minister.”

The district administration has also charged them for participating in a political programme without prior permission of the authorities.

The 11 teachers, along with hundreds of others, used Nitish’s rally to raise their demands under the banner of Sanyukta Shikshak Sangharsh Morcha led by Shambhu Yadav.

Yadav said: “Around 500 teachers were staging dharna at Dharna Asthan of Laheria Sarai an raised slogans when the chief minister’s convoy passed the place. Some of them who had gone to the JD(U) rally were waiting if Nitish had anything in store for them. After 15 minutes finding nothing encouraging in the chief minister’s speech, some teachers turned angry and made yelled at him. But the allegation of throwing slippers is baseless.”