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SSC candidates withdraw agitation following assurance from Mamata

SSC candidates withdraw agitation following assurance from Mamata

Kolkata: The School Service Commission (SSC) candidates who had been part of a hunger strike in the city since February 28, withdrew their movement on Thursday, following the assurance of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who personally met them on Wednesday.

Following the Chief Minister's instruction, five SSC candidates on Thursday met a committee comprising five senior Education department officials at Bikash Bhawan and placed their 14-point charter of demands.

The Education department secretary assured them that they would get back to the candidates after going through their demands. After Thursday's meeting, the students called off their hunger strike but said that they would again start a similar movement from the first week of June, if their demands are not met by then.

SSC Chatra Yuva Adhikar Mancha secretary Insan Ali said: "We had a long discussion with senior Education department officials and submitted files carrying our 14-point agenda. The officials will come up with a decision within April 3. We have withdrawn the strike following the assurance of the Chief Minister, for whom we have the highest regard."

Banerjee had met the candidates on Mayo Road on Wednesday and urged them to end their hunger strike, assuring them that she would look into the matter. She also sought some time from the candidates.

She also reminded them that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was already on and hence she would not be able to make any specific assurance in this regard.

The Chief Minister also told them that her sympathy is with the candidates and also said that her government would try to find a solution in the first week of June, after the conclusion of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

She clarified that nothing can be done immediately as that would violate the MCC and if anything is done in haste, it could be challenged in the court of law.

Banerjee instructed state Education minister Partha Chatterjee, who was accompanying her, to include five of the agitating candidates in the expert committee headed by the Education department secretary Manish Jain, to make a comprehensive report on the issue.

It may be mentioned here that Thursday was the 29th day of the hunger strike by the SSC candidates. Over 400 SSC candidates from the state had been part of the hunger strike at Mayo Road under the banner of SSC Chatra Yuva Adhikar Mancha.

The candidates had accused that there have been some irregularities in the appointment of assistant teachers at state-run schools. They have called for immediate recruitment in the numerous vacancies across the state.

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