Amid talk in the Hills about alleged corruption in the teachers’ recruitment process in areas under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and calls from several quarters to have the same investigated, BJP MLA from Kurseong, Bishnu Prasad Sharma (Bajgain) today said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cannot avoid her responsibility in the alleged scam. He also said that he would knock the doors of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and request investigations. Addressing the Press at the Siliguri Journalists’ Club, Mr Sharma claimed: “Miss Banerjee herself handed over appointment letters to teachers at Chowrasta in Darjeeling on 23 January 2019, following recommendation from several leaders in the Hills. Interestingly, the appointment letters were issued from Vikas Bhawan in Kolkata, when Partha Chatterjee was the education minister, by violating the recruitment procedures. In the name of voluntary teachers, many others, who were not eligible and were engaged in other services in different areas, had managed to get the appointment letters.”
Notably, Mr Sharma had met the Joint Director of the CBI in Kolkata on 16 June, and appealed him to investigate the alleged illegal appointment of teachers in governmentaided schools under the GTA. The MLA also furnished several papers before the CBI official as documents, including recommendation letters of political leaders, including Binoy Tamang, the former chairman of the Board of Administrators of the GTA, and even the present GTA chief Anit Thapa.
“When a group of victims, after recruitment of 121 teachers illegally in primary schools in the GTA area, filed a case in the Calcutta High Court in 2019 and there were allegations related to illegal financial transactions, I would go to the Enforcement Directorate, demanding investigations into it,” Mr Sharma said, adding, “If two to three victims, following illegal recruitment of 313 teachers in secondary schools, come forward, I will file a case in the High Court,” the MLA, a former leader of the Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha, said. Notably, the Gorkha Unemployed Primary Trained Teachers’ Association (GUPTTA) has filed a case in the Calcutta High Court, which has been transferred to the Circuit Bench of the High Court in Jalpaiguri. Members of GUPTTA are anxiously waiting for the High Court’s observations, it is learnt.