Visuals from the incident in which the para teachers were baton charged in Kalyani, West Bengal. (File Photo/ANI)
Visuals from the incident in which the para teachers were baton charged in Kalyani, West Bengal. (File Photo/ANI)

Activists, filmmakers write to Mamata Banerjee condemning arrest, baton charge on para teachers

ANI | Updated: Aug 19, 2019 20:16 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Aug 19 (ANI): A forum of artists, activists among others on Monday wrote to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemning the arrest and baton charge on teachers participating in a protest to demand hike in salaries in Kalyani on Saturday.
The para teachers had gathered from different districts demanding salary hike and up-gradation of their status to permanent teachers in Kalyani on August 17.
The letter written by the forum Citizenspeakindia, said, "We have been noticing with a great deal of anxiety that, instead of trying to resolve the peaceful democratic protests of teachers of this state through sane dialogue and debate, the administration has been resorting to undemocratic means of quashing these protests by the use of police brutality."
The letter said, "On August 17, 2019, the police lathi-charged and arrested teachers who were on a hunger strike in Kalyani. Today, the hunger strike platform being organized at Subodh Mallick Square by part-time teachers of colleges and universities was forcibly stopped by the police and some of the participants were picked up."
"We strongly condemn this attack by the police on educationists, and earnestly request you to resolve the issue in a democratic manner at the earliest," the letter said.
The letter further states, "On August 15, 2019, at the Academy of Fine Arts complex, three small street plays were enacted at the initiative of 'Actors United' in front of a gathering united against communalism and fundamentalism. Shubhankar Das Sharma, a member of 'Actors United,' was attacked and beaten up by unknown assailants at Dumdum while returning home at the end of the performance."
"Some sort of ointment or balm was applied to his eyes in order to blind him temporarily, so as to prevent him from seeing the faces of his assailants and identifying them later. He was not told why he was being beaten," the letter said.
"We feel that such incidents are, in effect, an attack on all artistes propagating free thought, and should be condemned with the same severity as any case of lynching anywhere else in India," the letter added. (ANI)