Skip to main content

UP: Enraged by Police Lathi-Charge, Teacher Applicants to Intensify Movement

Aspirants from across the state are gathering in Lucknow to protest police action and demand filling up thousands of vacancies.
UP lathicharge

Lucknow: The candlelight  march on Sunday, called by a group of teachers aspirant protesting in the state capital Lucknow over alleged irregularities in the 2019 Uttar Pradesh exam to recruit 69,000 assistant teachers in the state, ended in indiscriminate lathi-charge by police, leaving about a dozen protesters injured.

Enraged by the police action, the unions have called for a state-wide demonstration this week in protest against lathi-charge on the youth march.

According to eye-witnesses, the lathi-charge took place when a group of teacher aspirants were demonstrating at a prominent junction and were headed towards Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence. The police stopped them and resorted lathi-charge, leaving several protesters seriously injured. Videos of the incident also went viral on social media.

In 2019, the Uttar Pradesh government had held a mega recruitment drive and examination for hiring 69,000 assistant school teachers. However, the entire process was marred with allegations of bias and irregularities, including on allocation of quotas in the merit list of those selected.

Read Also: UP Govt Keeps Over 5 Lakh Posts Vacant, Shortage of Teachers Crippling for Education

As a result, candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories had been protesting since the past two years. 

The protesters alleged that a recent scam in the appointment of 69,000 teachers has revealed that instead of 27%, the OBC candidates were given just 4% reservation, while SC aspirants were provided with just 16% reservation instead of 22.5% .

They said that according to the reservation policy, the total number of OBC candidates should have been 27% of the total 69,000 vacancies, that is, 18,598 seats. But, according to this calculation based on the cut-off percentage given by the state, the total seats for OBC candidates are a measly 2,637. The candidates also alleged that general category persons had ‘adjusted’ seats of the OBC candidates.

Amit Tiwari, as aspirant teacher, who was injured during in the police crackdown, said: “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said plenty of government jobs are available in the state, but there is a dearth of educated and suitable candidates who can qualify for those jobs. We are protesting for the past two years close to his residence in Lucknow, but instead of recognising our talent, he and his police has chosen to beat us. We will not keep silent until our demands met. The youth of Uttar Pradesh are ready to teach a lesson to this government.”

The protesting candidates are demanding that 22,000 of 69,000 posts still lying vacant for assistant teacher should be opened for recruitment. They alleged that even after the Supreme Court’s order, they are not being appointed.

The candidates said their strike would continue till their demands are met. The teachers’ union is now mobilising students to support them and reach Lucknow’s Eco Garden on Tuesday to launch a “mass movement” ahead of Assembly elections due early next year.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s lathi-charge by Lucknow police on protesting teachers was criticised by several political parties, including Samajwadi Party.

“We will remember this lathi-charge while casting our votes in the upcoming elections,” Yudveer Singh, an applicant of Deoria, who is on his way to Lucknow along with 20 others to join protest told NewsClick.

“The CM who denied reservation to Dalit and backward communities during the recruitment of 69,000 assistant school teachers, is now lashing out on them with lathis. Amid a peaceful candle march of the 69,000 teacher recruitment candidates, the police started lathi charge is sad and shameful! The youth unemployed will be revolutionized, there will be a change in twenty," a tweet by Samajwadi Party handle reads.

Meanwhile, Varun Gandhi, ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and MP from Pilibhit, who was vocal in support of the farmers’ movement, attacked his government over the police crackdown. 

Criticising police action against protesting candidates of UP teachers' test in Lucknow, Gandhi asked why recruitments were not taking place when there were vacancies in the government. Sharing a video of police action against candidates holding a candlelight march over alleged irregularities, Gandhi said: "These children are also 'Sons of Mother India', let alone accepting their demands, no one ready to listen to them. Above this, barbaric 'lathicharge' on them. Put your hand on heart and think they would be treated the same if they were your own children. You have vacancies as well as qualified candidates, so why are recruitments not taking place."

Teacher applicants from across the state are reaching Eco Garden in a large number after police brutal crackdown. They are angry with the government and planning to play a major role to defeat

BJP in the upcoming elections. 

TIMELINE

* On December 1, 2018, the Adityanath-led state government issued an order for filling up 69,000 vacant posts and on December 6, 2018, the posts were advertised. On January 6, 2019, examination for the recruitment of 69,000 assistant teachers was conducted.

* On January 7, 2019, the government revised the passing criterion, at 65% (97 out of 150 marks) for general candidates and 60% (90 out of 150 marks) for reserved category candidates. This led to outrage and some candidates approached the high court.

* On March 29, 2019, hearing the case, the court gave its verdict in favour of the candidates and set 40% and 45% for reserved and general category candidates, respectively.

* On May 6, 2020, HC disposed of the case by upholding the state government’s revised eligibility criteria of passing reserved and general category candidates (60% and 65% marks) in the examination held.

* On May 12, 2020, the result of written test was announced. A total of 1.46 lakh candidates - 36.6% - were declared as having qualified.

* On May 13, 2020, the counselling schedule was announced for appointment of 69,000 assistant teachers to be recruited according to the merit and districts of their choices and vacancies available.

* Between June 3 and 6, 2020, counselling of the selected candidates and verification of documents was scheduled to be held.

* On June 3, 2020, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court stayed the appointment process of 69,000 assistant basic teachers.

* Candidates took the matter to the SC. On June 9, SC issued an interim order to fill 31,277 posts, with the remaining posts to be filled later after the final verdict of the apex court.

* On October 16, CM distributed appointment letters to 31,227 assistant teachers.

* On Nov 18, SC allowed the UP government to fill up vacancies for 69,000 assistant basic education teachers in the state, as per the results declared in May 2020.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram

Latest