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SLST Qualifying Candidates in Kolkata Forcibly Removed From Protest Site by Police

The protesters had cracked the State Level Selection Test in 2017 but are still jobless.
SLST Qualifying Candidates in Kolkata Forcibly Removed From Protest Site by Police

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: ANI

Kolkata: Protesting candidates who had cracked the State Level Selection Test (SLST) in 2017 but are still jobless were dragged by the hair by the police at Shaheed Minar, Esplanade, and taken to the Lalbazar Lock-up on Thursday.

Four out of the 77 job seekers detained at the protest site allegedly tried to consume poison in the lock-up and were rushed to SSKM Hospital. Meenakshi Mukherjee, Dhruvajyoti Saha and other Democratic Youth Federation of India leaders reached the lock-up late at night after receiving the news though the police denied the incident.

“The state government is cheating physical and work education departments [of the School Service Commission] job seekers. Initially, the government promised them jobs when they started the protest but without written assurance. Now, they are again being deceived. This government is promoting corruption and nepotism instead of merit,” Mukherjee told reporters.

The candidates have been protesting for the last 70 days. Recently, chief minister Mamata Banerjee promised to appoint 1,600 teachers. However, the job seekers continued with the protest demanding appointment letters.

The Calcutta High Court had allowed the job seekers to protest but with conditions. However, the police claimed that the protesters, who were asked to vacate the site by 5 pm on Thursday, did not comply with all the conditions. When the protesters refused to vacate the site, they were forcibly removed.

A video shows some of them, including women, being dragged to a police van. Several of the job seekers could be seen breaking down in tears. “We will not stop the protest till job counselling starts. We are ready to die. We will return to the protest site,” one of the protesters told the media from inside the van.

Another protester said, “We have been protesting for so long. Now, we are being forcibly removed on the pretext of the place not being safe. Why did the police torture us?” The agitators also criticised Banerjee asking why they weren’t recruited despite passing the exam.

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