THREE MORE teachers, including two females, climbed on a mobile tower in Sector 3 near the Haryana Chief Minister’s residence early on Thursday morning. The protesting teachers refused to come down from the tower despite several attempts by the police.
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The incident highlighted lapses in the high-security area; it is the second incident of this kind. The teachers are members of the Elementary Teacher Training (ETT), Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) Pass Unemployed Teachers’ Union of Punjab. Two male teachers have already been protesting atop a mobile tower at Punjab Bhawan for the last 10 days.
The teachers climbed on the tower in the early morning hours. The police officials said that the teachers cut the barbed wires installed on a wall near by to enter the area where the tower was installed. One of the police officials said the teachers had blankets, dry fruit packets and two bottles of a chemical. The tower is barely 100 metres from the Haryana CM’s residence.
As per the police, the teachers have been identified as Harpreet Kaur, Jatinder Kaur; both belong to Bathinda; and Tirlok Singh, a resident of Mansa. The teachers, who also made sitting arrangements on the tower, told the police that they would not come down until the Punjab government reguralised their jobs.
“When we tried to persuade the teachers, they said that they had eatables and other essentials for six days and they would sit on the tower,” added a police official.
The police official said that that they came to know that the teachers had climbed up when the female teachers started raising slogans around 11 am, following which police teams and fire tenders were sent to the spot. The traffic was also disrupted on the road as passersby stopped to see the protesting teachers.
Harpreet Kaur, who was atop the tower, said that the union wanted a meeting with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for raising their demands.
President of the union A S Kamboj said that the Punjab government issued an advertisement in 2015 for the recruitment of 4,500 TET pass teachers and then another advertisement was again published this year for the recruitment of 2005 more teachers. According to Kamboj, a total of 5,500 teachers were TET pass against 6,505 vacancies and the government filled a total of 4,800 vacancies while 700 vacancies were still lying vacant. He said the teachers should be recruited for the vacant posts.