38 arrested block grant teachers forwarded to court

Bhubaneswar: Twin City Police Commissioner YB Khurania on Saturday said 38 block grant teachers, who were arrested by Capital Police Station yesterday, have been forwarded to court.

A day after the face-off with police, some block grant teachers on Saturday gheraoed the residences of seven ministers, who are members of the inter-ministerial committee looking into the demands of the teachers.

The committee members gheraoed include Finance minister Pradeep Amat, Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, Food minister Sanjay Dasburma, Law minister Arun Sahoo and Parliamentary affairs minister Bikram Keshari Arukh.

The teachers said that the decision of the committee is not satisfactory. The government had constituted an inter-ministerial committee to look into the matter for early solution of the issue, but nothing has materialised yet, alleged the teachers. The stir will continue till the demands are met, they said.

Around 40 block grant teachers were injured when the police on Friday resorted to a lathi charge on the teachers, who were marching to gherao chief minister’s residence (Naveen Niwas) demanding fulfillment of their 10-point charter of demands, including abolition of block grant system and regularisation of their jobs.

Thousands of block grant teachers marched towards the state assembly to hold a demonstration, but suddenly changed their plan and marched towards Naveen Niwas via Sishu Bhawan square. They outwitted the cops who never expected such change of plan at the last moment.

There were reports of stone pelting by the agitating teachers on the policemen. The Sishu Bhawan square turned into a battle field for a few minutes due to police-teacher clash.

Vehicular movement on the Rajmahal-Sishu Bhawan stretch came to a grinding halt due to the clash on the main road connecting these two busy squares were blocked by the teachers.

Block grant secondary school teachers and employees association general secretary Prashant Kumar Mohapatra claimed that 40 teachers were injured in the police lathi charge. Some teachers were also arrested by the police during the clash. The injured were admitted to Capital hospital.

He said the state could not deceive teachers and employees of 2608 block grant grant-in-aid and 167 left out schools of the state by giving false assurance. “When we came to protest the government’s silence over the issue, the police personnel attacked us,” he said.