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Bihar government warns over 2.5 lakh striking contractual teachers

Patna, April 14: Five days after over 2.5 lakh contractual school teachers began an indefinite strike in Bihar and locked hundreds of schools, the state government warned of action and announced 'no work, no pay for them', officials said Monday.

"We have decided to take legal action against those trying to lock up schools or disrupt classes," Principal Secretary (education) R.K. Mahajan told IANS here, adding that the teachers on strike are not working and would not get payment.

He directed district magistrates and superintendents of police in all districts to ensure law and order in school campuses. Mahajan said officials have been asked to videograph those incidents where teachers are trying to lock schools so that they could be identified and action taken against them later.

Meanwhile, Bihar Education Minister P.K. Shahi appealed to the teachers to cooperate in running the schools. "The gate for dialogue with teachers who are striking is open," he said.

The contractual teachers went on strike last week, demanding pay at par with regular teachers and better working conditions in schools. They have called for a day-long shutdown on April 15.

"We have been forced to call for a statewide shutdown to protest against the government's apathy to our demands," said Pradip Pappu, leader of the teachers who are protesting.

He said teachers have locked most of the 72,000 primary and middle schools in the state. In some places, contractual and regular teachers clashed over locking and shutting down schools.

Warning to 2.5 lakh contractual teachers: Bihar

"Contractual teachers clashed with regular teachers in Katihar, Bihta, Jehanabad, Chapra districts," an education department official said. "We are not on strike and want to teach, but teachers on contract are trying to lock or close schools," said Dipak Kumar, a regular teacher.

According to reports even students are against this move by the contractual teachers. The strike began on April 9 after talks with the education minister were cancelled due to chaos at the meeting venue on April 8.

IANS

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