MORE THAN 1,000 employees of the Haryana Education Department remained stranded in the office at Shikhsha Sadan in Sector 5 for around three and a half hours with unemployed Junior Basic Trained (JBT) teachers blocking the gates. It is after waiting for several hours that stranded employees entered into a scuffle with the JBT teachers, following which the police canecharged the teachers and got the gates opened. Police then made a human chain on both the sides of the gate to make way for the vehicles of the employees.
While most of the employees were waiting within the office building or in the parking area, some of them jumped the gate to return home. The JBT teachers who have not been given appointment letters have been holding protests urging the state government to appoint them.
The president of the Ministerial Staff Association, Adeesh Sharma, said, “We tried to convince the JBT teachers that the employees had nothing to with it and they should have let us go. The protesters were not convinced and we had to finally forcibly push them. They pushed us back and then the police sprang into action.” Paramjit Kuar, an employee at the education department, who is physically challenged, had been standing for a long time with a stick waiting for the gates to open. A resident of Sector 20, Paramjit is working as an assistant in the department. Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, she said, “Some people jumped the gate to reach home on time but being handicapped I could not jump.”
Dr Mamta Chhirang, working as programme head, also wanted to reach back home as her sister studying at Panjab University was unwell but she could not attend to her sister as she was stranded. Among the high-ranking officers, HCS Virender Sehrawat was stranded in the office. The protesters sat on a dharna outside the two main gates and on the gate at the rear side of the Shiksha Sadan to ensure the employees are unable to get out.
Naveen Kumar, who was among the protesters, said, “The Haryana government had made 9,870 appointments of JBT teachers in 2012. We (2,507 persons) had filed a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the court directed the government to include us as well and appoint 9,870 JBT teachers on the basis of merit but not a single appointment letter has been given so far.”
Additional Chief Secretary, School Education Department, Haryana P K Das said, “There are two categories of JBT teachers: the first list category and the second list category. Both sides have met me and we have been assuring them that we will help them in getting appointments. Our stand in High Court has always been to support them. Despite this, these people are being unreasonable and resorting to such methods which are absolutely uncalled for.”