After suspending and arresting teacher, Uttarakhand govt in damage control mode
Dehradun, July 1: The Uttarakhand education minister has reached out to Uttara Pant Bahuguna, the teacher who was suspended and arrested for arguing with CM Trivendra Singh Rawat on June 28 over her transfer.
"I received a phone call from the education minister Arvind Pandey. He assured me that he would meet me on July 3 and would find a solution to my problem. He apologised when I told him of the injustice meted out to me by the department," said Bahuguna.
Rawat had ordered the arrest and suspension of the school principal for allegedly using "abusive language" in front of him.
Defending the teacher, her son claimed that the video footage doing the rounds does not show the full picture. "The video being circulated is incomplete. If you look at the entire footage, you will see how the CM spoke to my mother. It is his fault that he instigated her. They're saying a teacher shouldn't speak like that but a CM should also not speak like that," he said.
The incident happened on Thursday at the 'Janata Darbar' of the CM here when the principal of a government school in the Nagaon area of Uttarkashi district made a transfer request.
According to a government release, principal Uttara Bahuguna "showed disrespect and used abusive language during the Janata Darbar. She was told to put forward her request in a decent manner but she kept on misbehaving."
Bahuguna had requested the CM that she be transferred from the remote location. She claimed that she has been posted to remote locations for the last 25 years and now wanted to live with her children.
The woman said that her husband had died and she did not want to leave her children as "orphans in Dehradun". "My condition is such that neither can I leave my children alone nor my job," Bahuguna said.
The back-and-forth grew heated as Bahuguna insisted that the CM give her justice.
"I never signed up for exile all my life," Bahuguna said. Annoyed, the CM asked her to "mind her language" and then shouted, "Suspend karo ise abhi (Suspend her immediately). Arrest her."
In a video clip, the teacher is seen screaming at the CM and shouting "thief, cheats" as she is led out of the meeting.
Uttara Bahuguna was arrested on charges of "disrupting an important gathering". She was let off in the evening.
After the incident, Rawat said that request for transfers must not be brought to a platform meant for hearing public grievances. "All transfers of government employees will be done under the state's Transfer Act," he said.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Rajya Prathamik Shikshak Sangh Secretary General Digvijay Singh Chauhan said he would speak to the authorities and request them not to take any harsh action against her.
The state Congress said the CM's action was disappointing and argued if the wives of the BJP leaders could be given choice postings then why not Bahuguna.