Five female contractual teachers drank poison for immediate fulfilment of their job-related demands at Bikash Bhawan

News Desk: Five female contractual teachers of primary schools allegedly consumed poison on Tuesday while demonstrating before the state education department headquarters here seeking immediate fulfilment of their job-related demands, a senior police officer said.

Four of them “drank some liquid from bottles” as soon as they were arrested for forcefully entering the premises of Bikash Bhavan and shouting slogans in violation of the disaster management act, the officer said. The fifth woman, who tried to follow suit, was stopped by a woman constable before she could gulp down much of the liquid, he said.

“All five were taken to a state-run hospital, where the condition of four was stated to be serious. The fifth woman is out of danger,” the officer stated.

The agitating teachers, all members of a platform for contractual school teachers, ‘Sikshak Oikyo Manch’, had been seeking regularisation of services and revocation of transfer orders that have forced some of them to move to places that are far from their homes.

The five teachers had earlier this month demonstrated before the residence of education minister Bratya Basu seeking to know why their demands were not being met with.

Strongly reacting to the incident, BJP state vice president Jaiprakash Majumdar said, “Lack of concern on the part of the education minister prompted the teachers to consume poison.”

Kunal Ghosh, the ruling TMC’s spokesperson, wished the teachers a speedy recovery.

“It has to be looked into if there was any provocation from any quarter. A proper investigation will reveal the details,” he added.

The education minister and his department officials were not available for comment.