Seventy-two teachers working in six different schools and their family members on Saturday gheraoed the former Minister and Congress candidate for the Mayakonda Assembly constituency, K. Shivamurthy Naik, and prevented him from coming out of his house, urging him to hand over their Service Registers, as promised by him some time ago.
However, Mr. Naik said that he was unable to hand over the service registers as he had deposited them with the Scheduled Tribes Welfare Board.
Meanwhile, a close relative of Mr. Naik tried to break a window pane of the house, and hurt himself in the process. A few teachers standing outside the house were shocked to see that Mr. Naik and his associates were trying to escape. Mr. Naik also threatened the teachers that he would not give the service registers under any circumstances.
Later, the teachers and their family members went to the Extension police station at the behest of the station house officer, who assured them that Mr. Shivamurthy would be made to come to the police station and settle the issue amicably. However, when Mr. Naik failed to come to the police station, the officer asked the teachers to lodge a police complaint.
When asked, G.R. Lokeshappa, headmaster, Basaveshwara High School in Chikkabennur, along with teachers, told presspersons that Mr. Naik was president of the Chitradurga Zilla Banajarara Sangha, which was running six high schools in which they were all employed. The government, after ascertaining certain irregularities in those schools, had derecognised them and shifted the teachers to neighbouring schools, on deputation, in 2008. Since then, the teachers were demanding that their service registers be returned as they were need to avail themselves of the benefits of various schemes in schools where they were presently working. However, the management was reluctant to give service registers to teachers. As a result, they were deprived of their salary, incentives and promotion, they said.
Mr. Lokeshappa said that Mr. Naik had promised to hand over the service registers once he got the Congress ticket to contest Assembly elections. Accordingly, they had come to his house on Saturday collect their service registers.
The teachers said that they had lodged complaints against Mr. Naik, his son Suraj Naik and a relative Sandesh Naik, charging them with cheating and withholding service registers illegally for many years and creating inconvenience to teachers. The teachers also alleged that their women colleagues were harassed by some supporters of Mr. Shivamurthy Naik.
Later, addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Shivamurthy Naik said that many of his political detractors had instigated the teachers to attack him and snatch the B form from him. He said that the window panes of his house had been damaged and a few of his supporters injured in the incident.
He said that he would discuss the issue with his senior party colleagues before lodging a police complaint. To a question, he said that the BJP government had ordered that schools run by a Scheduled Tribes organisation be closed down, without assigning any reason and he had lodged a complaint in this regard with the Scheduled Tribes Welfare Board. As he had deposited all the documents with the board, he was unable to give the service registers to the teachers, he said.