Mass Court Arrest On COTA’s Radar

Teachers under the aegis of COTA on their fast unto death stir. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Feb 16: With no sign of the Government budging from its stand  over the 6th pay recommendations, agitating teachers from primary to higher secondary level have decided to take recourse to mass court arrest very soon even as the arrested teachers who are languishing in the jail resumed their fast since February 9.

The agitating teachers who are launching a fast unto death stir under the aegis of Council of Teachers’ Association (COTA) since January have already announced their decision to stay away from their assigned duties of Census 2011 exercise.

The mass court arrest of and storming the police stations too is to be launched under the aegis of COTA.

Talking to mediapersons in this connection at Johnstone Higher Secondary School today, co-convener of COTA Ch Shantikumar pointed out that the demand of the agitating teachers is to be met from the non-plan amount of the 13th Finance Commission. So, there is no question of affecting the plan amount of the State when the Central 6th Pay is implemented for the teachers.

Brushing aside the rightful demand of the teachers and keeping back the amount meant for extending Central 6th Pay to the teachers by the Government is condemnable, he added.

Shantikumar announced that in order to intensify the ongoing agitation, primary to the secondary level teachers working under the Government in all the districts of the State would soon start mass court arrest of storming the police stations.

Necessary preparations in this regard are ready.

Recalling that the aggrieved teachers started their fast unto death since January 19 in a phase-wise manner and so far 155 teachers have been arrested by the police and put in the jail, Shantikumar informed that all those teachers who are languishing in the jail too have resume their fast inside the jail with effect from February 9.

The police action against the fasting teachers who refuse to take food is despicable and strongly condemned by COTA. So, the decision of taking recourse to mass court arrest has been taken, Shantikumar said, adding that teachers in the hills and the valley districts have already taken the decision of staying away from the duty of Census operations in the second phase.

Accordingly, the Census materials would be handed over to the authorities concerned, he informed.

Another co-convener of COTA P Koireng, who was also present at the occasion, observed that to ensure that the normal classes of the students were not affected on account of the fast unto death agitation of the teachers, only two teachers have been nominated from each schools. But as the Government has not given any positive response to the rightful demand, all the teachers have been compelled to take decision of launching mass court arrest.

Arrest of the teachers who are fasting for their rightful demand and lodging them in jail along with those who have been detained under NSA is regrettable, Koireng said.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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