Attempts to bring down the aspiring elementary teacher Deepak Kumar, who has been protesting atop the mobile tower in Sector 3 since November 3, demanding a job from the Punjab government, failed again on Friday as he reiterated he would come down only after getting an appointment letter.
During the hearing of the case before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday morning, the Punjab government’s counsel informed the court that 902 vacant posts of elementary teachers would be filled after a two-day counseling to be held on Friday and Saturday, for which 1,817 eligible ETT-passed candidates have been called. The court was told that in Friday’s counseling list, Kumar’s name is at serial number 220 and in Saturday’s list at serial number 165. However, the court was informed that Kumar would only be issued the appointment letter if he comes down from the tower and appears for the counseling. On amicus curiae Tanu Bedi’s request that the authorities and the teachers’ union members try to convince Kumar to climb down from the tower, the court adjourned the hearing for the afternoon session.
When the case again came up for hearing at 2.10 PM, the amicus curiae informed the court that because of some mechanical problem in the hydraulic ladder, Kumar could not be brought down. The case was again adjourned for 3.30 PM, and when again the case was taken up, the court was told that Kumar refused to come down till he gets the appointment letter.
Observing such a response from the protesting candidate, the high court disapproved of his conduct, stating it as “unfortunate” and with “misplaced intentions” but refrained from passing any harsh orders. Before disposing of the case, the court directed the Punjab government to fill up all the elementary teacher vacancies as per rules and on merit. The court also permitted advocate Tanu Bedi, HC Arora and Jagmohan Singh Bhatti to file a public interest litigation on the issue of framing guidelines, for preventing such incidents from occurring in the future.
However, talking to the Chandigarh Newsline over the phone in the evening, Kumar said, “I have been on the tower since November 3. I was told today that the letter will be given to me on Saturday so I have decided to come down but only when I get the letter from the government. In the past as well, my name had figured in the waiting list but I was not provided the job then.”