Until recently, the streets of Karunamayi in Kolkata were filled with Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) candidates protesting outside the West Bengal Board of Elementary Education head office. In turn, on October 20, the Calcutta police dispersed the protesters. On the directions of Calcutta High Court, Section 144 of the CrPC has been brought into effect in the areas near the office till November 4.

Reasons for the protest

Achintya Dhara, a leader of the protesting candidates, said, “In 2014, TET was conducted. In November 2020, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that out of 20,000 qualified candidates, 16,500 candidates would get jobs and the remaining 4,500 candidates would go through a phased recruitment process. But so far we are completely ignored. They took only 12,500 people.”

On how long the protest would last, Dhara said, “We have a do-or-die approach; either we die or fight for it.’

Today is the 67th day of the protest.

Another participant of the rally Paramita Paul said business line that they will not participate in interviews conducted by the government.

“The government requests the qualified candidates of TET 2014 and 2017 to appear again for the interview. We were told that they would give orders for the reception. While some have received orders, many are still awaiting execution. Now, instead of appointing others, they are asking us to go through the interview process again.”

Amid slogans of ‘We want appointments’ in the background, Arnob Ghosh, a 2014 TET qualified candidate, said they were deprived of eight years of their lives because of people like Manik Bhattacharya, former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education.

A few days ago, Bhattacharya was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of alleged irregularities in the 2014 TET recruitment process.

Alleging malpractice in the TET 2014 exam, Dhara said, “Many people submitted blank papers and still got jobs.”

West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu could not be reached for comment.

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