BATHINDA: A day before the much contested ‘Teacher Eligibility Test (TET)’ scheduled for Sunday, more than 60 unemployed teachers, including 15 women, from various unions were arrested by the police on Saturday evening to thwart attempts to disrupt the test.
The teachers were raising slogans and protesting against the state government’s decision to make TET mandatory to become eligible for the job of a teacher in government sector. The protestors include unemployed unions of bachelor of education (BEd), master in education (MEd), and elementary teacher training (ETT), art and craft teacher and physical education instructors. Heavy police force was deployed in various parts of the city on Saturday and all main entry points of Bathinda were under close vigil of the cops to check any assembly or movement of the protesting teachers towards the city. Despite all the security checkups, over 25 unemployed teaches managed to assemble before the minisecretariat building, but they were immediately detained by the police as they sat on a dharna. Another attempt of the protesting teachers to block a road in front of the bus stand in the city was also foiled by the police by detaining more than 27 unemployed teachers from the spot.
Section 144 of CrPC (preventing any kind of unlawful assembly) is in force since Friday evening in Bathinda district. Bathinda being the home turf of ruling Badals in the state, all the unemployed teacher unions from Punjab had already declared to disrupt the test here to register their protest against the eligibility condition.
Meanwhile, eleven centers have been selected in the district for the test with six centers in Bathinda city, three in Rampura and two in Talwandi Sabo. Besides the local police, more than 700 police personnel from outside the district have also been deployed in 10 examination centers of test in Bathinda district. Anti-riot vehicles have also been deployed near the examination centers.