KOLKATA: A Day after five contract teachers of a primary school in West Bengal attempted suicide by consuming poison in front of the state education department at the Bikash Bhavan in Salt Lake near here, the condition of three of them still remains critical.
In a shocking incident, five contract teachers of Sishu Siksha Kendra — all women — tried to commit suicide on Tuesday in protest against their transfer to North Bengal, which is far off from their homes.
They were first rushed to the Bidhannagar Sub-Divisional Hospital. After the condition of Shikha Das and Jotsna Tudu deteriorated on Tuesday, they were shifted to the NRS Hospital. The remaining three teachers — Putul Jana Mandal, Chaki Das Hajra and Anima Nath — were shifted to the RG Kar Hospital.
Police personnel have been posted outside the hospitals and no one is being allowed to meet the sick teachers.
The police also registered a case against the teachers at the Bidhannagar police station on Wednesday for allegedly obstructing the work of government employees.
State Education Minister Bratya Basu, after taking stock of the situation, criticised the Left Front supported teachers’ forum for creating unnecessary tension.
In a Facebook post, Basu said, “Under the Left Front rule, there was no structure and teachers were given a nominal honorarium. But after Mamata Banerjee came to power, she made a proper structure and also gave them job security, financial security and retirement benefits.
“The honorarium for supportive assistants was increased to Rs 10,340 per month and the honorarium for contract teachers was increased to Rs 13,390 per month. In addition, an annual 3 per cent increase or increment has been introduced. Also, everyone has been brought under the government healthcare scheme — Swasthya Sathi.”
Basu also accused the BJP of creating a chaotic situation.
“Provident fund has been introduced for the contract teachers and supportive assistants from February this year for those who have decided to retire at the age of 60. Maternity leave has been arranged for women as per government rules.
“In addition, everyone has been given the right to 18 days of annual casual leave, including medical care. Those who are protesting are not teachers, but BJP cadres,” he said.