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Awaiting jobs, Bengal's empanelled teachers on relay fast

Posted on Feb 24 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Feb 24 : Over 200 empanelled candidates in the West Bengal School Service Examination, 2012, are on a relay hunger strike for the past 19 days demanding job appointments.

The candidates have been protesting outside the office of the state School Service Commission (SSC) which conducts the examination and supervises the entire process till the appointment.

State Education Minister Bratya Basu Monday appealed to the protestors to call off their strike, saying 90 percent of them would get their appointments soon.

However, Basu also claimed the opposition was trying to politicise the issue.

Leader of opposition in the state assembly Surjya Kanta Mishra met some representatives of the protesting candidates.

Mishra later said he would talk to Basu and Governor M.K. Narayanan on the issue.

"The names of these candidates have been empanelled in the combined merit list after the examination. They have levelled a serious allegation that those who ranked lower than them in the merit list have received appointment," he said.

Stoking the controversy further, SSC assistant secretary Amitesh Deb termed the protestors as "extreme leftists" and expressed apprehension his office could be set on fire.

Criticising Deb, Mishra said the government's officers were busy searching for Maoists when the need of the hour was to find ways of solving the matter.

"We support the justified demands of these candidates," said Mishra.

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