Patna: Ignoring the extreme weather conditions, hundreds of aspiring teachers across Bihar took to the streets and staged a protest in Patna, demanding their long-awaited recruitment by the state government. Police forcefully arrest protesters; when the latter tried to break through barricades, it resulted in clashes with police who clashed with police. Few protesters were injured in the clashes.
Most of the aspiring teachers who have passed the Bihar Teacher Eligibility Test (BTET) and Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) have applied to the government to include them in the school’s teacher selection process public. This is an old request as they have been holding dharna in Patna for 22 days to pressure the government.
This is the first such protest seen in the state after Janata-Dal United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar dumped Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), joined Mahagathbandhan and formed the new state government ten days ago.
Placards, banners and national flags in hand, job candidates staged a protest march through the heart of Patna, disrupting traffic for hours on busy roads. The demonstrators shouted slogans against the new Minister of Education for not having given a clear assurance to meet their demand.
Bihar Education Minister Chandrasekhar has reportedly asked the protesters to give him some time to consider their demands.
A video clip went viral on social media minutes after the protest, revealing the authorities’ heavy handed treatment of protesters. A protester with the national flag in his hand was shown to have been mercilessly beaten by an ADM-ranking officer when he fell to the ground.
Ruling leader Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said the incident was unfortunate. He asked Patna DM to set up an investigation team to investigate and take action against the guilty officer.
Yadav said several job applicants met with him in the past week. He assured them that job creation was among his priorities and that they did not need to demonstrate in the streets.
“We are eligible for a teaching position because we had passed the BTET or the CTET, but the government delayed and did not include our application for the selection. It is a great injustice for unemployed young people like us We will not remain silent, and we will demonstrate peacefully to force the government to recruit us as teachers,” said Hemant Kumar, one of the protesters.
Aniket Prasad, another protester, said the police action against the job applicants was inappropriate.
“The police beat protesters and injured many of us for demanding jobs.”
Hemant Kumar and Prasad expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s inability to provide them with jobs despite their qualifications.
The opposition BJP, which was in power until August 10, attacked the state government for charging police against protesters. BJP leaders have reminded the government of its pledge to provide 20 lakh jobs for the youths in the state.