Investigations by the police indicate that the two teachers who were abducted and shot dead by the Maoists in Gumla on Saturday were rolling in money.
Both had been executing lakhs of rupees worth job orders connected with the construction of school buildings and the mid day meal scheme,a feature common to many teachers in Jharkhand.
Many teachers who were working for the state government run schools on contract basis were paid less than Rs 10,000 each.But some of them instead of teaching students worked to gain contracts to construct school buildings and were also involved in procuring food materials to run kitchen so as to provide mid day meal to students.
Aware that these teachers turned contractors had made money illegally,the Maoists tended to extract ransom from them.Even the two deceased teachers were reportedly asked to pay levy to the Maoists.Since they declined to pay them,they were abducted and shot dead,said the police.
In protest against the crime,all teachers working in nearly 1900 primary schools in Gumla had proceeded on strike demanding interala arrest of those who had committed the crime,payment of compensation amounting to Rs 10 lakh and a government job to the next of the kin of the each deceased.
These teachers were on strike under the banner of Shiksha Karamchari Samanway Samiti.They had also demanded end to transfer and posting of teachers and not requisitioning report on building construction and mid day meal scheme by senior officers.
Now,while none of the state government officials had talked to them or persuaded them to withdraw their agitation,the Samiti looked determined to continue its agitation.’For us,it’s do or die scene.Unless the government accepts our demand,we will not withdraw our agitation”,said Samiti’s secretary Sishir Singh.