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Panchkula protest: Eight cops, 15 teachers injured in clash

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 25-10-2021 HT Correspondent, Panchkula
Police resorting to lathicharge to disperse protesting teachers in Panchkula on Monday. (HT Photo) © Provided by Hindustan Times Police resorting to lathicharge to disperse protesting teachers in Panchkula on Monday. (HT Photo)

Eight cops, including women personnel, and at least 15 protesting vocational teachers were injured in a clash in Panchkula after police tried to stop the protesters from marching towards Chandigarh.

Hundreds of vocational teachers from across Haryana who were gathered in Panchkula were demanding wage hikes and better salaries. Police had to resort to lathicharge and use of water cannons to disperse them as they tried to march towards Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s residence in Chandigarh. During the melee, eight cops, including five men and three women, were also injured.

Earlier, the protesters had gathered in Sector 5 for their three-day “maha andolan” under the banner of Haryana Vocational Teachers Association. Their main demands include better salaries, no involvement of contractors in employment and job security.

The protesters left the spot around 3.45 pm to move towards Chandigarh but were met with police blockade near the Housing Board Chowk. After the police action, the protesters claimed that around 30 of them were injured.

Anoop Dhillon, state president of the association, said: “We were just moving to gherao the CM’s residence in Chandigarh. We don’t know why they stopped us. When we started moving further, police and paramilitary forces started lathicharge and used water cannon.”

Dhillon claimed the injured protesters are being treated at the civil hospital in Sector 6, and among them around 15 are “seriously injured.” However, police claimed that only 15 protesters were injured besides eight cops.

ACP Vijay Kumar Nehra said: “The district magistrate and tehsildar asked the protesters to submit their representation to them but they did not agree and wanted to enter Chandigarh. They were given a warning, after which water cannon was used. Despite this, they tried to break the barricades, after which light lathicharge was carried out to disperse them.”

Teachers block roads in Mohali

In the neighbouring Mohali district, commuters were at the receiving end for nearly four hours as the ETT-TET Qualified Unemployed Teachers Union members blocked the national highway near Desumajra in Kharar.

In another protest, unemployed physical training instructors’ union blocked the Airport Road near Singh Shaheedan Gurdwara for over three hours before police lifted the barricades put up by the protesters.

Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni also joined the protesters. Police diverted the traffic as long snarl-ups were witnessed at various junctions on the busy Airport Road. The two teachers’ unions are protesting for the past many days demanding job regularisation and appointments.

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