Police attack fast-unto-death of non-MPO teachers
Leaders say will continue fast-unto-deathStaff Correspondent
The police on Thursday fired teargas shells and sprayed pepper powder to disperse non-government teachers and employee on a fast-unto-death near the National Press Club in the morning and at the Central Shaheed Minar in the evening.
Teachers and employees, teamed up as Non-MPO Shikkha Pratishthan Shikkhak-Karmachari Oikya Jote, or an alliance of teachers and employees of educational institutions not enlisted for monthly pay order, who have been on the streets for four days, faced police action for the third consecutive day on Thursday.
They have taken to the streets to demand the enlistment of their institutions for the monthly pay order.
Leaders of the alliance said that 50 of their people had been injured in the police attack.
The alliance president, Esharat Ali, said that the teachers would continue to rally until their demands were met and they would continue with the fast-unto-death at the Central Shaheed Minaar about 11:00am today to push for the demands.
He also demanded that the education minister, Nurul Islam Nahid, and the finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, should resign for not including their institutions in the monthly pay order list.
Several hundred teachers and employees of non-government schools, colleges, madrassahs and technical educational institutions tried to gather in front of the Press Club in the morning braving biting cold but the police and Rapid Action Battalion personnel stopped them from holding their programme. The police also fired teargas shell and sprayed pepper powder to disperse the protesters.
Assistant commissioner of the Ramna zone of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said that the police and RAB personnel had been deployed in the areas since morning to keep law and order.
The teachers and employers, after being dispersed, gathered shifted at the Central Shaheed Minaar about 11:00am.
At about 2:00pm, the police asked them to leave the place saying that the platform had no permission to hold any programmes there.
At one point, the police once again fired teargas shell and sprayed pepper powder to disperse them.
The Shahbagh police officer-in-charge, Serajul Islam, said that they had requested the teachers to leave the place by order of higher authorities as they had no permission to hold any programmes at the Central Shaheed Minaar.
Both of the police officers said that they had not arrested anyone at the places.
The police on Tuesday and Wednesday also fired teargas shells and rubber bullets and sprayed pepper powder to disperse teachers and employees as they tried to lay siege to Shikkha Bhaban and the secretariat.
The teachers said that about 7,000 educational institutions employing about one lakh teachers and employees were yet to be enlisted for the monthly pay order although most of them fulfilled all the criteria.
On October 5, 2012, the police dispersed teachers and employees at the same place
by charging at them with truncheons. At least 50 of the protesters were injured then.
The demonstrators then suspended the sit-in on the fourth day on assurance for a meeting with the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, to discuss their demands.
As no such meeting was held, the teachers and employees on December 30, 2012 gave the government till January 5 to meet the demand and threatened a sit-in for an indefinite period.
The teachers and employees also held several meetings with the education minister, Nurul Islam Nahid, and the education secretary, Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, in 2012 only to return empty-handed.
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