Surat police on Saturday arrested 11 teachers of self-financing schools who gathered at the district collector’s office to submit a memorandum. Dressed in black clothes and masks, the teachers were going to give a memorandum to the district collector against the salary cuts and layoffs of teachers during the Covid 19 lockdown.
The teachers, who were organised under the banner of Bhartiya Shikshak Jagrut Samiti (BSJS), were later released on bail.
The association of teachers of self-financing schools had on Friday, via a social media post, requested all such teachers who were laid off or facing salary cuts to gather at the district collector’s office on Saturday afternoon to submit the memorandum.
The association’s leader Dipak Patel, along with 10 teachers, arrived at the office at 1.30 pm on Saturday with banners and placards that were picked up by police, who took them to Umra police station. Police turned down Patel’s request to allow him to submit the memorandum. Police registered offence against the teachers for violating the police commissioner’s notification. When the news of arrest circulated on social media, the other teachers who were supposed to join them did not turn up. A police team outside the district collector office was also deployed.
Umra police inspector Mahendra Salunke said, “We arrested 11 teachers and registered an offence under violation of police commissioner notification, which states that not more than four persons can gather at one location. They had not taken prior police permission. ”
In the memorandum, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, the association said, “In the last four months of the Covid-19 pandemic, over thousands of teachers were illegally laid off by education institutions. These teachers are from such institutions which are registered under the Charitable and Religious Trust Act. The salaries of teachers were deducted by trustees, while in many schools the salaries had been blocked,” the memorandum said.
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