Police-Block grant teachers face off in city

Bhubaneswar: The police today resorted to lathi charge to disperse agitating block grant teachers while they were on their way to gherao Naveen Niwas from the Lower PMG square demanding fulfillment of their 9-point charter of demands, which includes full grant-in-aid.

Some of the teachers sustained injuries during the face-off with police forces. Police said they resorted to lathi charge after the teachers did not pay heed to their warning not to break the cordon.

There were reports of stone pelting by the agitating teachers on the policemen.

Vehicular movement on the Rajmahal-Sishu Bhawan stretch came to a grinding halt due to the clash.

Till last reports came in, police were trying to prevent the teachers from marching ahead. The protesters, on the other hand, had managed to break the police cordon and were on their way to gherao CM’s residence using various lanes and by lanes.

“The government has been cheating us forthe last 40 days. We demand full grant-in-aid. We would rather die than back off from our agitation till our demands are met,” an agitating teacher said.

On the other hand, police are trying to restrict the agitators. “We are trying to bring the situation under control. We are discussing with them not to violate the guidelines,” DCP Satyabrat Bhoi said.

The Block grant teachers’ association had earlier threatened to stage agitation on February 5.

General secretary of the Association, Prashant Kumar Mohapatra had said the Association, during its meeting with the chief minister on September 27 last year, was assured that the government would fulfill its demands. But nothing has been done since last four months while the state government is trying to wash its hands off the issue by announcing a 20 percent hike in the salary of the secondary school teachers and staffs.