The State Human Right Commission today issued a notice to Punjab government on the incident in which a woman teacher was slapped by a ruling SAD leader, even as a group of teachers threatened to commit self-immolation outside the residence of the Deputy Chief Minister. The state government late last night ordered registration of an FIR against the Sarpanch, Balwinder Singh, after he assaulted Varinder Kaur who was part of a delegation of teachers that wanted to meet Bhatinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the wife of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at a function in Muktsar on Sunday.
The Commission “taking cognisance of this case has called for report from the Principal Secretary, Home Department, Punjab and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Shri Mukatsar Sahib by January 18, 2012,” a Commission release said here. The woman teacher was demanding a permanent job when Balwinder Singh, Akali Dal sarpanch of Daula village, caught hold of her and slapped her many times, Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) Teachers Association President Pritpal Singh said here.
The Commission comprising of Justice Jagdish Bhalla, Chairperson and its three members Baljinder Singh, L R Roojam and Justice Baldev Singh at a meeting here today took suo motu cognisance of media reports. The release said, “The news item has been considered by the Full Commission. Let it be registered as a complaint.” Meanwhile, teachers demanding permanent jobs in the state today threatened to immolate themselves after the slapping incident. A delegation of Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) teachers association led by its chief Pritpal Singh today went to the private residence of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
“We were not heard by Sukhbir.We have decided that 11 of our associates will commit self-immolation on December eight,” Singh said, adding the protest will be held in front Badal’s residence in the posh sector nine of the city.
Besides, demanding that they should be provided government jobs without further delay, the EGS teachers association pressed for immediate arrest of the sarpanch. The sarpanch, however, said he had done no wrong and accused the teacher of using abusive language. “Why should the police take action against me? What is there to apologise? I did not hit her. I put my hand on her shoulder to move her but she was pushed by mistake,” he said, adding “she tried to disrupt our panchayat, she should apologise”.
Pritpal Singh alleged that teacher, who had been slapped, was being pressurised to take back her statements she made before the media. “The victim is constantly being threatened with dire consequences,” he claimed.The incident had evoked condemnation from various quarters, including the Congress and the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
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