Agitators from across State converge on Freedom Park

It was a show of strength by pre-university (PU) college lecturers as they marched from Tulsi Park as part of the Bangalore Chalo rally here on Wednesday. Freedom Park, where the rally ultimately culminated, was overflowing with thousands of teachers from all over the State as they turned up to register their protest against disparity in salaries, among other grievances.

The protesters were there to back the agitation that started about a week ago, when lecturers from government and aided PU colleges boycotted classes, demanding the authorities' attention to their long-pending demands.

Nimmi George, a teacher from Chamarajanagar, said the dissent was not a new one. “The PU Department is saying now is not the right time to agitate. But this is not the first time that we are holding such a protest. The last time we protested, we were promised a solution in 45 days, which did not happen.”

The PU teachers had protested in April this year, just before the time to evaluate II PU answer scripts.

When asked about the crucial timing of the class boycott, the teachers said their protests would never be considered to be at the right time. “If the Government is so concerned about students, why did they have to drag the issue for so long?” asked V.M. Ramesh, a lecturer from Kolar.

“We are responsible for our students. We will see to it that the portions are completed by conducting special classes during the weekends,” reiterated Doddaboraiah from Chikmagalur.

S.H. Prakash, working president of the Karnataka State PUC Lecturers' Association, said they were only looking for a positive signal from the State Government, and if it comes, they would end the strike immediately.