Regular-article-logo Saturday, 23 September 2023

Protesters told to leave army land

Formalities completed, say SSC candidates

TT Bureau Maidan Published 23.03.19, 07:57 PM
Protesters at the indefinite sit-in off the Maidan on Saturday.

Protesters at the indefinite sit-in off the Maidan on Saturday. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

At least 300 aspiring teachers, on an indefinite sit-in off the Maidan for 24 days demanding jobs, were told by cops on Sunday that the army, the ground’s custodian, wanted it vacated.

An officer from Maidan police station met the aspirants with a piece of paper, which police had apparently received from the army.


The group, however, claimed they were not allowed to go through the “letter”, based on which the officer asked them to vacate the place.

Education minister Partha Chatterjee had met some members of the group — comprising state School Service Commission candidates not called for interviews — on Friday and assured jobs to all eligible candidates.

He had announced a five-member fact-finding committee headed by Manish Jain, principal secretary, school education, to look into their grievances.

The minister had asked the protesters to submit their complaints to the committee within three days.

The indefinite sit-in, under the banner of SSC Yuva Chhatra Adhikar Manch, began near Calcutta Press Club along Mayo Road, on February 28.

“The police had refused to grant us permission for this dharna. But we had submitted an application on February 22 to the colonel who is in charge of Maidan, requesting him to allow us to hold the dharna,” Prakash Ghosh, a protesting leader, told Metro on Saturday. “We are surprised at the way we are being harassed by the government.”

The army wrote to the city police headquarters in Lalbazar saying the agitators would have to vacate the place as they did not have the army’s permission, an officer of Maidan police station said.

The officer claimed a copy of the said letter had been sent to the police station.

Anyone who wants to hold an event in the Maidan area has to seek the army’s permission through a colonel who is in charge of overseeing army land. If the army gives its permission, the person has to take a clearance from the police.

One of the protesting candidates claimed the group had completed “all formalities” with the army.

The West Bengal School Service Commission had conducted written tests in November 2016 and December 2017 for 12,905 vacant posts of assistant teachers for classes IX to X and 5,711 for classes Xi and XII in state-aided and state-sponsored schools.

More than 400,000 candidates had taken the two exams.

The commission appointed 9,350 teachers for classes IX and X and 4,889 for classes XI and XII after two rounds of counselling.

The 300-odd protesters, whose names were on the merit list, have alleged they hadn’t been called for interviews despite several posts remaining vacant.

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