The Telegraph
Sunday , May 11 , 2014
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Tripura govt to move SC
- CPM protests order on teachers’ recruitment

Agartala, May 10: The Tripura government today formally decided to appeal to the Supreme Court against Tripura High Court’s judgment on Wednesday terminating jobs of 10,323 government school teachers after December 31 this year.

Chief minister Manik Sarkar said this today after a two-hour cabinet meeting.

A division bench of Tripura High Court, comprising Chief Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Swapan Chandra Das, also asked the state government to arrange a fresh recruitment process by December 2014 and frame a new employment policy within two months.

“The government has today decided to file a special leave petition before the Supreme Court challenging the high court order,” Sarkar told reporters after the meeting. State advocate-general Bijan Chandra Das and law secretary Datamohan Jamatia briefed the cabinet about the judgment.

The court, after hearing the state government and the complainants, on Wednesday passed the order on a batch of 58 petitions filed by those who failed to secure government teachers’ jobs.

The government recruited 1,100 post-graduate, 4,617 graduate in 2010 and 4,606 under-graduate teachers in December last year.

“Chief minister and education and law minister have held a series of meetings with the officials and legal experts in the past three days to study the scope of filing a petition in the apex court against the high court judgment,” a top law department official said on condition of anonymity.

The main Opposition parties, including the Congress, BJP and the Trinamul Congress, welcomed the court’s verdict and sought fresh recruitment process. They also demanded the chief minister’s resignation. The minister for school education, Tapan Chakraborty, said the government would stand by the teachers whose jobs have been put at stake.

The CPM has urged the high court to review its judgment on humanitarian grounds. “The court judgment cancelling jobs of 10,323 school teachers is unprecedented, unfortunate and inhuman. It has snatched the livelihood of 50,000 families,” CPM state secretary Bijan Dhar said.

The high court’s order has also sparked clashes between workers and supporters of the Congress and the CPM.

On Thursday, hundreds of CPM cadres and supporters laid siege to Congress Bhavan in Belonia, headquarters of South Tripura district, and shouted slogans protesting leader of the Opposition Sudip Roy Barman’s letter to the Union HRD ministry opposing recruitment of teachers and welcoming the high court order.

In another incident yesterday, the residence of Phani Bhusan Debbarma, 38, the block Congress president of Simna under Mohanpur subdivision, was set ablaze around 3pm by unidentified persons. “I was not at home during the incident. My wife did not see anyone setting the house on fire, but I am convinced that CPM workers and supporters are behind this. Since news on the order spread, some people have spread rumours that the Congress had moved the petition,” he said. Debbarma said cash and valuables worth Rs 20 lakh had been destroyed in the blaze.

CPM secretary Haripada Das, however, denied involvement of party workers in the incident at Simna, but he asserted they would protest the dismissal order. The party’s youth wing, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), has already decided to hit the streets over the issue, blaming the Opposition for its hand in the order.