Tripura’s Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said Sunday that his government was trying to re-induct, through various recruitment processes, many of the over 10,000 school teachers who had been retrenched in 2017 after a Supreme Court verdict over a faulty recruitment process.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event at Maharani Tulsibati Girls Higher Secondary School in Tripura, Nath said, “We are trying, our government is trying to see that the candidates from among the 10,323 can get jobs in other ongoing recruitment processes. But it will have to be done without legal complications.”
Dalia Das, who leads the forum Amra 10,323, said she refused to believe the minister’s words. “He speaks something in the morning and something else in the evening. We believe this is a lollipop ahead of the Assembly elections next year. Earlier, he said jobs would be assured for the 10,323 teachers, but the government didn’t take any step and is trying to divide and rule,” Das said.
She added that 8,900 of the retrenched teachers have been awaiting jobs for the last 23 months and claimed that many of those who passed away in the meantime, died amid poverty, frustration and financial constraints in getting proper medical treatment. As many as 129 of the teachers have since passed away.
Before the 2018 Assembly polls, the retrenchment was a major political issue faced by the then Left front government and had found place among the BJP’s poll promises in which the saffron party vowed a permanent solution if voted to power.
The services of the 10,323 school teachers were terminated following a high court order in 2014, which was later upheld by the Supreme Court in 2017. Many of those retrenched are now working in other departments and over 8,000 teachers were later re-inducted on an ad hoc basis till March 2020, but have since been rendered jobless again.
After assuming office in 2018, the BJP-IPFT government created over 10,000 posts in Group C and Group D categories in different departments and also relaxed the age criteria till March 31, 2023, in a bid to open up the recruitment process to more people. Though written examinations for these posts were to be held in April last year, it was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In December 2020, aggrieved teachers held a 51-day mass demonstration in the city alleging government inaction in the matter.