Police lathicharge teachers in Punjab, 12 injured

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Muktsar, Oct 26 (UNI) As many as 12 school teachers were injured following a lathicharge by the police near Badal village in the district today, police sources here said.

The injured included a number of women teachers.

The teachers, who teach computer science in government schools, were demanding regularisation of services as currently they are employed on contract basis. Their demand also includes better pay scales, that is at par with other government school teachers.

The protesting teachers, after assembling at Lambi town in the district, marched in the form of a procession to Badal, the native village of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. However, on the outskirts of the village they were halted by a police contingent and according to sources they were asked to hand over their charter of demands to an officer.

The protesting teachers insisted on meeting the Chief Minister, who was at Ludhiana. When some of them jumped the barricades, police swung into action lobbying tear gas shells and then resorted to a lathicharge. Water canons were also used to disperse the teachers.

As a result of the lathicharge, 12 teachers sustained injuries and were admitted to different hospitals in the town. The condition of a lady teacher from Ferozepur was stated to be critical.

President of the Computer teachers union. Gurwinder Singh criticised the police action and said that they were only taking out a peaceful march when they were lathicharged. However, police has defended its action, saying the teachers manhandled some of the policemen on duty and became violent.

Police has registered a case against the teachers. However no arrests had been made so far.

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