Raipur: The opposition Congress hit out at Chhattisgarh`s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday for imposing the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against 200,000 contract teachers after they refused to refused to withdraw the strike for better salary.
"(It) is humiliating to impose ESMA against teachers, the BJP government has gone on an offensive against teachers who are protesting peacefully across the state," the party said in a statement here.
The statement added that the Congress could not understand what what prompted the BJP government to put over 1,000 teachers, who had reached here from various districts to join a sti-in, in jail in Raipur.
About 200,000 contract teachers in the state, who have been placed in different honorarium slabs ranging between Rs.6,000 and Rs.9,000 a month, have been striking work since Nov 1 for a hike in wages and merger of their posts with regular teachers cadres.
The BJP, which has been in power in the state since December 2003, has rejected the demands of the teachers. It imposed ESMA and asked authorities to put protesters in jail and also began moves to suspend them.