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Assam Education Minister slammed for allegedly ignoring 7 minority populated districts for TET

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GUWAHATI: As Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma led Assam Government is heading towards the fulfilment of its promised 1 lakh job opportunities for unemployed youths of Assam, and keeping the same in mind, going to conduct Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) to appoint school teachers, allegations raised that the government is excluding seven mostly minority populated districts of Assam.

Reportedly, whereas 27 districts of states were given exam centres for the same but as many as seven mostly minority populated districts – Bajali, Barpeta, Goalpara, Dhubri, South Salmara Mankachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi – were excluded from the process of teacher recruitment.

All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) have staged protests across the state to mark their protest against such a decision of the state government and burned the effigies of state Education Minister Ranoj Pegu.

“We do not want to put a label on it as majority or minority populated districts. We are saying that these are very underdeveloped areas and after the lockdown people are at a financial crunch. It will not be possible for them to travel 200-300 km to a different examination centre. Through this kind of discriminatory behaviour, what does the government trying to prove? Are they putting on some label instead?” said Rejaul Karim, AAMSU president, talking to InsideNE.

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Karim added, “CM’s chief advisor Jayanta Malla Baruah said these districts use unfair means hence they do not want to conduct examination there. We challenge Jayanta Malla either to prove his claims or to apologise from the people of these seven districts.”

Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly and Nazira Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia also condemned the act and said it was done in “political interest”.

“Whereas there are 6,000 Covid cases in Kamrup (M), 1500 in Dibrugarh, almost 1,400 in Nagaon and over 1,500 in Tinsukia but only 90 in Goalpara, 507 in Dhubri, only four in South Salmara Mankachar and 62 in Karimganj according to the government reports, it is baseless for Chief Minister to say that examinations are not taking place in those districts in view of Covid-19. More it seems like a political interest,” said LoP Debabrata Saikia.

“Former BJP state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass once said Baghbar, Jania and few parts of lower Assam make him feel like being in Pakistan and Assam CM also expressed that visiting few areas in lower Assam make him feel bad. This decision seems to behave a connection with their feelings as well,” said Saikia taking a jibe.

Days earlier, several minority student union bodies were also deprived of participating in a meeting with Minister Ranoj Pegu where 36 organisations from various student bodies of tribes and communities to discuss education policies were invited.

“BJP does not want people from the minority of these backward districts to be educated and they have a very strategic plan for it,” Karim added further.

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