AGARTALA: The Joint Movement Committee (JMC) of the retrenched teachers in Tripura has vowed to intensify their struggle after the clash with the Police here on Wednesday.
Dalia Das, joint convener of the JMC -- which is spearheading the stir since last year -- said that of the 10,323 retrenched government teachers, 84 persons died due to various reasons, including three persons who committed suicide.
''Many out of the 10,323 teachers after losing their jobs fell sick due to depression and economic paucity and 84 of them died. The family members of all the retrenched teachers are in great distress, especially of those who have died,'' she said.
Small kids, children and family elders of the agitating teachers occasionally take part in the round the clock sit-in.
On the government's offer of jobs, JMC leader Das said the teachers have already completed their government service for seven to 10 years and several of them crossed their stipulated age limit and the state government's offer is ''unreasonable'' and against the interest of the teachers.
She said that the protesters had suspended their agitation earlier after the Chief Minister on October 3 last year assured to take steps to resolve their problems permanently within two months.
'' On Wednesday, we planned to meet the Chief Minister at the Civil Secretariat. Before that we had taken one of our injured woman teachers to the hospital and at that time police suddenly started lathi charging on teachers,'' Das told the media.
''After waiting for more than two months, we resumed our sit-in stir on December 7 but the State government is yet to take any step. We would soon intensify our agitation,'' said Das.
At least 87 teachers and 17 police personnel were injured in a pitched battle on Wednesday with the security forces knocking down the tents in which thousands of Tripura government school teachers, who had lost their jobs following the Court's verdict, have been holding sit-in protest for the past 52 days demanding restoration of their jobs.
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Arindam Nath said that 223 agitating teachers were arrested as they assembled near the official residence of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
West Tripura District Magistrate and Collector Shailesh Kumar Yadav, before the gathering of the teachers near the CM's residence, had promulgated prohibitory orders 144 Cr Pc in the entire Agartala Municipal Corporation areas banning assembly of five or more people.
''In all 87 teachers and 17 police personnel were injured in today's (Wednesday) incidents (police lathicharge, use of water cannon and burst of tear gas shells). The agitating teachers also damaged four police cars. Considering the situation, the prohibitory orders were extended for another 48 hours,'' Yadav told the media.
Police spokesman Subrata Chakraborty said that two cases were registered against the agitating teachers.
The injured teachers, including many women, were admitted in the Agartala Medical College and Hospital and Indira Gandhi Memorial hospital here.
Opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist, Congress and other political parties condemning Wednesday's incident said that ''indiscriminate police action and lathicharge were barbaric''.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party said that the teachers' agitations were backed by the CPI-M and politically motivated.
''The teachers had lost their jobs following the Court's verdict. The BJP government has been making alternative arrangements for them. Only a few hundred teachers with political purpose are organising agitations,'' BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee told the media. (IANS & Agencies)