‘Shiksha mitras’ (ad-hoc teachers) across the state on Thursday launched an agitation after a Supreme Court order quashed their appointment as full-time teachers by the Akhilesh Yadav regime in 2014.
Police lathicharged and used water cannons to disperse shiksha mitras who were protesting in Gorakhpur on Thursday, and were allegedly trying to enter Gorakhnath Temple. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the head of the temple.
“The agitation by shiksha mitras occurred at two places in Gorakhpur — Nagar Nigam Lakshmi Bai Park and Pant Park. A crowd of nearly 1,200 protesters at Pant Park turned violent and broke the gates, leaving a few injured. They later marched towards Dharamshala and tried to enter Gorakhnath Temple,” Gorakhpur SSP Satyarthi Anirudh Pankaj said.
DIG (Gorakhpur range) Nilabja Choudhury said: “At Dharamshala, there were around 2,000 protesters. Many of them started damaging vehicles and looting shops. We used water cannons and lathicharged to disperse them. The agitators put women members in front, and we arrested nearly 10-12 of them, who were later released.”
Representatives of ‘Shiksha Mitra Association’ on Thursday claimed to have met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue.
“We met the home minister and gave him our memorandum. He assured us that the government would bring an ordinance to fulfill our demands if needed,” association general secretary Vishwanath Kushwaha claimed.
“However, we will keep our protest going until we see concrete steps taken and not just promises,” he added.
Furthermore, the death of a shiksha mitra, Haresh Yadav, in Badaun in Wednesday also led to some ad-hoc teacher groups alleging that he died after hearing of the court order.
Nirbhan Singh, district president of ‘Aadarsh Samayojit Shikshak Welfare Association’, alleged that Haresh suffered a heart attack soon after he got the news about the Supreme Court’s decision. He was rushed to a hospital in Bareilly where he died Wednesday night, Singh added.
However, Badaun SSP, Chandra Prakash denied that Yadav’s death had anything to do with the Supreme Court decision or the protest. “Haresh died after consuming poison, following some family dispute, even before the court order came. He was rushed to Bareilly, where he died,” claimed Prakash.
The exact cause of the death, however, could not be ascertained as Yadav’s family cremated his body without getting an autopsy done.