Three members of the Unemployed Physical Education Teachers' Association consumed pesticide at Banappa Park in the city on Tuesday while taking part in an agitation demanding relaxation on the age limit during recruitment even as their compatriots were caned by the police when they attempted to march towards the Vidhana Soudha where the Assembly is in session.
Those who drank the poison — Ashok from Bijapur, Nagaraju from Bellary and M.D. Vattegalli from Hubli — were admitted to Victoria Hospital. Their drastic action followed came in the wake of their failed meeting with Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri the previous day.
An unemployed physical education teacher, who identified himself as Kattimani, told presspersons that people like him from all parts of the State, who had crossed the age limit of 35 years, had travelled here to meet Mr. Kageri, hoping for a favourable decision to their long-pending demand.
“There are around 20,000 qualified physical education teachers in the State who have not been recruited. The State Government is giving us only false assurances. After it failed to keep its promise, we decided to raise the matter during the legislature session. When Mr. Kageri did not give us a positive reply during the talks held on Monday, we decided to stage an agitation,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Mr. Kageri announced that he would forward a proposal to the Finance Department to regularise the teachers' services.
Making a brief statement in the Legislative Council, he said his department would try to convince the department and appealed to the teachers to end their protest.