Teachers to end strike after HC warning

Taking a tough stance on the agitation of government teachers, the Uttarakhand high court on Thursday gave them “last chance” to end their strike and resume their duties on Friday, failing which the court warned of “strict action” against them, said SRS Gill, the counsel of the petitioner in the case.

The directions were issued by the division bench of chief justice KM Joseph and Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Ajay Kumar Tiwari of Udham Singh Nagar on Monday. The PIL alleged that the agitation by the government teachers was affecting the education.

Gill said that DK Joshi, the counsel for the defendants united under Rajkiya Shiksha Sangh, had on Wednesday told the court that that teachers were not on strike and as such the education was not getting affected. Joshi said just a few leaders of the teachers association were on relay hunger strike and indefinite hunger strike.

Following the submission of Joshi, the HC had directed the chief standing counsel Paresh Tripathi to confirm the statement of the counsel for the agitating teachers and apprise the court about the same on Thursday. The teachers have a list of 19 demands including transfer of teachers according to the transfer act.

On Thursday, the counsel for the teachers apprised the court that the agitating teachers were ending their hunger strike. “This angered the court. The court said the teachers were playing with the words. If they were on strike they should do so. The chief standing counsel also presented photographs of the hunger strike and lockdowns in the schools due to the strike,” Gill said.

The HC directed the counsel for the state government to apprise the court by Friday afternoon whether the teachers have ended their strike or not. “HC said that if teachers don’t resume their duties by Friday, it will take a strict action against them,” Gill said.

Gokul Singh Martolia, who represented the Rajkiya Shiksha Sangh in the HC, said that they respect the HC directions and accordingly all the agitating teachers would resume their duties on Friday.

“I was myself present in the HC. The court was not happy with the way information about our agitation was presented before it. It had perhaps wanted us to end the agitation on Wednesday itself. But we are adhering to the court directions and ending our agitation,” he said.

First Published: Aug 02, 2018 22:51 IST

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