VELLORE/TIRUVANNAMALAI: Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts witnessed spirited protests of the striking government employees and teachers as about 6000 courted arrest, as per official figures, staging road blockade at several places in both the districts on the second day of the indefinite strike on Wednesday.
In Vellore district, the government employees and teachers affiliated to Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisations and Government Employees Organisations (JACTTO-GEO) resorted to road roko at 13 places, including Vellore city, Katpadi, Ambur, Anaicut, Wallajah, Tirupattur, Arakkonam, Nemili, Gudiyattam, Pernambut, Natrampalli, Vaniyambadi and Arcot.
According to a police officer, “Around 3000 striking government employees and teachers were held in all the 13 centres in Vellore district as they resorted to road blockade.”
The participation of government employees in the strike is 34 per cent while teachers accounted for 57 per cent, he added.
But the leaders of JACTTO-GEO claimed that around 8500 employees and teachers courted arrest across the district.
K Saravanaraj, district coordinator, JACTTO-GEO, said, “The participation in the strike on Wednesday increased by 10 per cent when compared to the previous day. We held road roko in all the 13 taluks in the district. As per our calculation, 8500 government staff and teachers courted arrest.”
In Tiruvannamalai district, the number of employees and teachers held during the road roko was about 3000 as per official account against the claims of JACTTO-GEO which stated that about 5000 were detained.
“Ninety-six per cent schools remained idle without teachers turning up for duty. More than 76 per cent government employees stayed away from work,” said R Jothisankar, district president of Tamil Nadu Government Employees Association (TNGEA).
The protesters staged road blockade at Tiruvannamalai, Cheyyar, Kilpennathur, Arni, Thandrampet, Chengam, Kalasapakkam, Polur, Vembakkam, Vandavasi, Chetpet, Jamunamarathur.
District president of Tamil Nadu Primary Teachers Federation A Anthoniraj noted that support for the strike is growing as teachers from aided schools joined the stir on Wednesday.