Bengal SSC Scam: People's Verdict

They have been sitting on the road for 590 days. They are the candidates who applied for teaching and non-teaching jobs through the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) in 2016. Some of them are toppers but still have not received the call for the job while others are petitioners who filed against the recruitment scam in the WBSSC.

Just ahead of the second phase of polling on April 26, the Calcutta High Court on Monday cancelled roughly 24,000 illegal jobs of Class 9-12 teachers in all government-run and aided schools under the 2016 School Service Commission (SSC) Recruitment Panel.

These candidates sitting on the road near a monument in Kolkata had a smile on their face after the court verdict. One of the candidates, Soham Kumar Mondal, told News18, “We are happy that people who got the job through backdoors will be cancelled. It’s clear that tremendous amount of appointments of corruption did happen. We are not satisfied as we now need our job. The state will again go to the Supreme Court and the hearing will start but what about us?”

Another aspirant mentioned that their struggle is the longest. “Every morning when I come out of the house for this (protest), my child thinks that I go to school (for work). I want to go to school but don’t know when. We have not made any mistake. Today, as the judgment came out, we are happy there is a sense of peace. But we need the job immediately.”

These protesting candidates have been waiting for the court order in their favour for quite some time now. But they are sceptical what will happen to them if the state government challenges the Calcutta High Court order.

Another candidate told News18, “Why is the CM now worried about the 26,000 jobs? We are sitting here on streets for so long. We did not get a single job in the last eight years. Are we not humans?”

Meanwhile, a petitioner lawyer, Firdaus Shamim, told News18, “Illegality is proven. Now, all candidates and OMR sheets should be shown so that the genuine candidates get a chance. They should not worry as everything has been cleared in the order”.

The high court order has started a war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP, with chief minister Mamata Banerjee saying she will challenge the verdict “as it affects 1.5-2 lakh families”. “Is it possible to return the salary of eight years in four weeks?” she asked the high court.

“Snatching jobs of 26,000 people. No matter what happens, we will continue the fight. Those who lost their jobs should not be depressed,” Banerjee remarked.


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