Teachers’ Body Members, Once Against West Bengal Government, Join Trinamool

Kolkata, Nov 21 (PTI): Members of a contractual teachers’ association, including five women who had allegedly consumed poison during a demonstration to protest against their transfers by the West Bengal government, joined the ruling Trinamool Congress on Sunday.
Several members of Sikshak Aikya Mukta Mancha (Teachers’ Unity Open Forum) were welcomed to the party by state Education Minister Bratya Basu at a programme in South 24 Parganas’ Diamond Harbour.

Five contractual teachers of the forum had in August allegedly consumed poison while demonstrating before the state education department headquarters in Salt Lake, protesting against their transfers by the government to far-off districts.

They had then alleged that the transfers were linked to their participation in earlier agitations over their demands, including an increase in monthly emoluments.

Several members of the association had earlier held protests at various places including in front of ministers’ residences and even wading a canal behind Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Kalighat home with placards.

Leader of the organisation, Moidul Islam, against whom the police had slapped a case of incitement to commit suicide, said the state government has assured that it will look into their demands sympathetically.

“We find the Centre’s education policy is more against the interests of teachers and so we have decided to join the Trinamool Congress to fight against it,” he said.