Over 2 lakh teachers protest in Gujarat

Over 2 lakh teachers protest in Gujarat
Highlights

A day after Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation GSRTC employees proceeded on mass casual leave over wage issues, hundreds of primary school teachers in the state followed suit on Friday

Officials said that almost all primary schools in the state remained closed on Friday because of the teachers' stir.

Gandhinagar (Gujarat): A day after Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) employees proceeded on mass casual leave over wage issues, hundreds of primary school teachers in the state followed suit on Friday.

Over two lakh teachers on Friday went on mass casual leave and also tried to protest outside the Gujarat Assembly, where the last day of the session is underway.

Officials said that almost all primary schools in the state remained closed on Friday because of the teachers' stir.

"We have detained some 250 teachers and are trying to evict others from the area outside the Assembly," Gandhinagar Range Inspector General Mayanksinh Chavda said.

He refuted reports of a baton charge against the agitating teachers and said they were being intercepted and detained at a point close to the Assembly.

There were reports of scuffles between teachers and policemen when some of the former tried to enter the Assembly complex.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Friday announced the formation of a three-member ministerial committee to talk to the agitating GSRTC staff and primary school teachers.

The committee comprises deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, Agriculture minister R C Faldu and Education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama.

"Our main demands include implementation of the old pension scheme, separate grade pay for primary teachers, exemption from compulsory clearing of computer exams and consideration of fix-pay service period of five years for determining seniority and promotions," Digvijaysinh Jadeja, president of the Gujarat Rajya Prathmik Shikshak Sangh, said.

"I appeal to all groups to call off their agitation and come to the negotiation table. It is causing inconvenience to the people of the state," Rupani said.

Meanwhile, the GSRTC stir entered its second day with the state-run transporter's 7000-bus fleet idling at depots.

Employees, who held demonstrations in several parts of the state, have demanded the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.

The GSRTC stir has hit common people hard as they are reportedly being forced to pay high fares to private bus operators or are being compelled to shelve even essential travel plans due to lack of buses on the roads.

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