In a partial sigh of relief, the Calcutta High Court gave an interim stay on the transfer of the contract teachers of Sishu Siksha Kendra (SSK) on Wednesday. The order given by Justice Sugat Bhattacharya said that the plaintiff teachers cannot be transferred till November 30.
The issue of the transfer of contractual teachers came into the limelight after five of the protesting teachers -- all of them women -- consumed poison in front of Bikash Bhawan, the state education department headquarters. One of them was a teacher from Balagarh in Hooghly district who was transferred to Ratua in Malda district of North Bengal.
The teachers protesting under the banner of Sikshak Oikya Mancha (Teachers' Unity Forum) complained that the government is taking revenge on them because they had demonstrated in front of the state headquarters at Nabanna on August 16. A day after they were issued transfer orders.
Moidul Islam, a teacher and one of the leaders of Sikshak Oikya Mancha that has been fighting against the transfer of primary teachers, complained before the Calcutta High Court that a large number of police gathered in front of his house at Beliaghata in North Kolkata on Thursday night and tried to force him to go to the police station.
The court hearing the case observed that there was no justifiable reason behind the transfer. Justice Bhattacharya, while hearing the case on Tuesday, observed that there was no transfer rule. There is no specific policy for the transfer of contract teachers. So, on what basis did the state government transfer them? The court gave the state a day to clarify its position.
On Wednesday the court wanted to know on what basis the transfers were made but as the state couldn't come up with a proper answer the court issued an interim stay order on the transfer of the contractual teachers.