A coalition of Indian trade unions marched through Kolkata on 1 November 2022 from the Esplanade Tram Depot through to Calcutta University, expressing their solidarity with 500-odd former students who passed the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) in 2014 but were then denied positions.
The students had been staging a peaceful sit-in outside the Education Board offices last month until police raided the protest at midnight on 20 October and forcibly removed them, as some of the qualified, yet out of work teachers commenced a hunger strike.
One of the most outspoken members of the protest movement Sangita Sharma told Sydney Criminal Lawyers that the unions had gathered to express support for TET graduates who were being denied jobs because of corrupt practices that have led to other less qualified people receiving the positions.
Referred to as the West Bengal Teachers Recruitment Scam, this issue is currently being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation by order of the Calcutta High Court.
The claim is that candidates for around 600 jobs in 2016 were chosen in exchange for money, whilst those on the merit list were overlooked.