IMPHAL, Feb 23 � Manipur Government teachers under the aegis of Council of Teachers Association (COTA) have intensified their on-going fast until death stir with 200 more teachers volunteering to join the hunger strike following total apathy by the government to their demand for implementation of the Central revised pay commission recommendations in toto.
Teachers under COTA has been resorting to fast until death stir since January 19 demanding the implementation of the commission recommendations. As of today, 195 teachers have been arrested by the police and lodged in jail on charges of attempting to commit suicide.
COTA has been demanding the implementation of the recommendations since 2009. Early in 2010, the government and the striking teachers reached an agreement with the government buckling under pressure and agreeing to adopt and accept the recommendations.
Yesterday, around 18 teachers were taken to jail. They have been reportedly tortured and force fed inside the jail.
In their attempt to step up the agitation, 200 teachers freshly joined the stir today, said T Rameshwore, president, COTA.
He went on to confirm that the missive which was sent to Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal by COTA apprising him of the development with regard to the plight of the teachers of the State has been responded back by the Minister. COTA would seek for revelation of the content of the letter from Union HRD Minister as soon as the Chief Minister returns from Delhi, he said.
Meanwhile, the Federation of All College Teachers� Association Manipur (FACTAM) has been demanding UGC pay scale by going on mass casual leave on February 18 and 19. Since yesterday, the college teachers have also resorted to sit-in protest and have given February 28 as the deadline for the government to meet their demand failing which FACTAM will intensify their agitation. This move of FACTAM will effectively paralyse around 28 colleges.
This sticky situation which has stalled the academic calendar of the students of Manipur has come at a time when the board and council exams are just around the corner.
The Chief Minister has recently offered to resign rather than meet the demands of the agitating teachers because the State does not have sufficient resources to fund their demands.