Sec 144, Day 2: Venue changes, stir goes on

RAIPUR: Protests continued in the city on Monday amidst prohibitory orders of Section 144 at various ‘dharna’ venues. Thousands of Shikshakarmis reached the Science College ground and stepped up their agitation to press their nine-point charter of demand — including filling the vacant post of regular teachers by the guest faculty.

On Sunday, the Shikshakarmis had congregated at the Rawanbhata ground — however police broke their protest with lathi-charge, and detained some of the teaching staff. Therefore, they changed the venue to Science College ground for Monday. The police failed to halt their protest, however they arrested around 70 Shikshakarmis from Mahdevghat where a similar agitation was underway.
Police forces were deployed for patrolling at sensitive areas of Idgah Bhata and Rawanbha ground. To keep the protest from spilling, and keep everything in control, barricades were placed in front of Science College road. Senior leaders of ‘Shikshak Panchayat and Nagariya Nikay Sangh’ including state president Virendra Dubey, Kedar Jain are still in police custody.
The protest is being led by State Organisation Convenor, Sanjay Sharma. Dubey said that the teaching staff will not buckle under government pressure and will continue their agitation until their demands are met. “We have no choice but to protest against the s which failed to fulfil their promise of absorption on regular rolls.” Panchayat minister, Ajay Chandrakar had said that the teachers’ demand including the implementation of Seventh Pay Commission among others will be considered, if they resume their services, but asserted that there is no concept of equal work, equal pay.
The minister said that the government is ready to listen to their demands except merger as regular onrolls. The shikshakarmis refused to turn up for talks with the Panchayat minister demanding release of their leaders.