Chandigarh, July 6: Police on Tuesday lobbed teargas shells and used water cannons to disperse schoolteachers as they tried to force their way through barricades put up on the Chandigarh-Mohali border in a bid to reach Punjab CM Amarinder Singh’s official residence here.
Demanding that their services be regularised, temporary teachers have been protesting outside the Punjab School Education Board building in Mohali for the past several days.
Under the banner of the Temporary Teachers' Union, they planned to lay siege to the official residence of the Punjab CM in protest against the cancellation of a scheduled meeting with the Punjab education minister at 11 am on Tuesday.
When scores of protesting teachers, including women, tried to force their way through barricades, the Chandigarh Police used water cannons and teargas shells to prevent them from heading towards the CM’s residence.
The protesting teachers claimed that some of them sustained injuries.
They also raised slogans against the Punjab government.
Later, the teachers were assured of a meeting with the finance minister, education minister and other senior officials on Wednesday.
Opposition parties SAD and AAP condemned the police action against the protesting teachers.
SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema asked the chief minister to listen to their grievances.
Cheema said it was shocking that agitating teachers, sanitation workers, government employees and unemployed youth are not only being ignored, but being “lathicharged” on a regular basis by an “arrogant” government which is not even ready to hold talks with them.
“This does not bode well for a democracy," Cheema said, adding “before the 2017 polls the Congress party had promised the moon to government employees but now is not even ready to listen to their genuine grievances”.
Cheema asked the chief minister to devote some time in his office to listen to grievances of the people instead of “shuttering” himself in his farm house or “trooping constantly to Delhi to save his chair”.
“You had promised all contractual employees that you will regularise their services but have not fulfilled this promise till now,” he said.
AAP legislator Kulwant Singh Pandori accused the Congress-led government of not hearing the grievances of agitating teachers and rather using force against them.
He said every section of society was fed up with the Punjab government.