Hyderabad: The Hyderabad police have denied permission for the ‘Chalo Assembly’ march, which was set for 13 March, called by teachers, pensioners, and contract employees in Telangana. Hyderabad commissioner of police Anjani Kumar released a statement on 9 March saying no permission had been granted to the teachers’ associations for the march.

The commissioner of police further said no disturbances can be allowed in the state while the Telangana Assembly is in session. “During the Assembly session, no gatherings are allowed in the city and particularly in the vicinity of the Assembly. The smooth running of Assembly sessions is the foundation of a healthy democracy and it is our responsibility to ensure that there is no disturbance,” the police officer said.

Meanwhile, members of the teachers’ associations in the state believe that they are marching for their rights and that they will not be deterred. According to Chava Ravi, general secretary of Telangana State United Teachers’ Federation (TSUTF), the denial of permission is a sign of victory. “This is our first victory. After the announcement of the Telangana state budget, all employees are depressed because no funds have been allocated for the Pay Revision Commission (PRC), which ideally should have come into effect in July 2018. Our chief minister had promised to announce interim relief in June 2018 and the PRC report by August 2018. But nothing has been done,” he said.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC), which comprises teachers, pensioners, contractual employees, and other public sector employees, also sought the abolition of the contributory pension scheme (CPS). Teachers alleged that this pension scheme allows for 10 per cent of their salary to be invested in the share market, which means that there is no security on the amount they will receive as pension after retirement. “There are families which have received less than Rs. 1,000 under this scheme. However, according to the old pension scheme, we would get at least Rs. 20-25,000 as pension,” he said.

The union also demanded equal pay for contractual teaching employees in the state.
The JAC, which comprises at least 79 teacher and affiliated organisations, was expected to start the march near Indira Park on Friday in an attempt to push the government to fulfill their demands.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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