West Bengal Protesting SSC candidates evicted for a day Opposition

Ahead of the Durga Puja carnival on Red Road that returned after two years, Kolkata Police early Saturday morning allegedly evicted protesting SSC empanelled candidates from near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, where they have been on a sit-in for the past 573 days, demanding their “legitimate” jobs.
The Kolkata Police’s move drew flak from Opposition parties’ leaders who claimed that the eviction was against the direction of the Calcutta High Court, which allowed the protesters to go ahead with their ‘dharna’ (sit-in) even during Durga Puja.
Illyas Biswas, a State Level Selection Test for Recruitment of Teachers (SLST) 2016 candidate and one of the activists, said, “This is very unfortunate. The state government first sold our jobs. We qualified for the examination but those who submitted blank answer sheets were given jobs. “Now, the state government is desperate to hush up the corruption, and that’s why they are organising this carnival and have evicted us forcefully.”
Another protester Piyali Guchhayet, a Primary TET 2014 candidate, said, “Police evicted us for security reasons, but we were not sitting with arms. We are holding a peaceful protest, even then the government does not have the courage to allow us. The government even wanted to evict us during Durga Puja, but the High Court order prevented it from happening. We will resume our protest tomorrow (Sunday).”
Achintya Prasad Samanta, also a protester, said, “We are not terrorists. We are legitimate candidates for primary teacher jobs, and the court also agreed with that. We are cooperating with the government and have removed our protest for a day, but in future, if the government doesn’t help us get our legitimate job, we will be compelled to violate government orders.”
A Group D job aspirant, Mahadev Duley, said, “Even as the corruption in school jobs came wide open, the government has not had enough courage to accept it. We cleared the test but were deprived of a job. Now, we are protesting against that. The government has removed us for its carnival. We feel so ashamed of this behaviour.”
Meanwhile, criticising the Kolkata Police’s move, leader of Opposition and BJP leader Shuvendu Adhikari tweeted, “This forceful eviction of the demonstrators has been done so that the State Sponsored Carnival funded by the taxpayers of WB goes on smoothly without any unwanted attention is drawn by the legitimate protestors. I condemn this act.”
“As per the instructions of DC South Akash Magharia; Mamata Police forcefully shifted the recruitment deprived meritorious Group D sit-in, demonstrators from the Matangini Hazra statue area to Howrah Station & also deleted the footage of the incident from their mobile phones,” he further wrote.
CPI(M) leader Shatarup Ghosh said, “We remember on eve of the Durga Puja, while inaugurating a pandal in Salt Lake, Mamata Banerjee saw a heap of garbage nearby and she got so disturbed that she ordered to clear the garbage immediately. Similarly, the job-seeking unemployed youth of our state are perhaps garbage to her and that is why she wants them to be removed from the protest site as well.”
The carnival in Kolkata is being organised annually since 2016, except for the last two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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