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Agitating Teachers Plan Blockade

IMPHAL, Jan 21: Even as the police have taken into custody 14 members of Council of Teachers’ Association (COTA), who were on a fast-onto-death agitation in pursued of their demand for implementation of the Sixth Central Revised Pay Recommendation, the Council has threatened to intensify its movement with president of Hill District Teachers’ Association ZR Engpu not ruling out possibility of imposing economic blockade.

Earlier, 12 agitating teachers were pulled up and put into the custody of police.

Speaking to reporters at the Modhu Girls high School, Keishampat office of COTA today, Engpu accused the State Government of being indifferent to demand of the teacher community for implementation of the Sixth Central Revised Pay in toto.

He reasoned that the current fast-onto-death agitation was prompted due to lack of positive response from the Government to the demand even after the sit-in-protest staged at Keishampat Junction on January 19.

Decrying detention of the 14 teachers who were in hunger strike by a team of Imphal West district police rather than the Government taking the initiative to understand and address plight of the teachers, the HDTA president asserted that COTA is seriously planning resorting to economic blockade.

He also declared that teachers would not report for election or census duty as a part of protesting the Govt‘s different attitude to the COTA demand.

Meanwhile, COTA co-convener M Joykumar informed that the 14 teachers were pulled up from their agitation site by the police team at around 10.30 am today, the third day of the hunger strike.

While informing that a new batch of 19 teachers have resumed the fast-unto-death agitation with immediate effect, the co-convener further contended that the teacher community is feeling betrayed as a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister on May 19, 2010 on the same demand is yet to evoke a positive respond.

While suggesting that unconditional release of the detained teachers would be considered a mature step of the Government, Joykumar also asserted that till the demand is conceded there is no question of relenting from the agitation.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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