Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said that action would be taken against officials concerned if it was found that the use of tear gas against protesting teachers last week was beyond what the law permits.
Police had opened tear gas canisters at teachers, who lost their jobs in 2019 after failing to clear an eligibility test, as they marched towards the secretariat in Shillong, seeking reinstatement.
The act was condemned by many, including the opposition TMC. Leaders of the United Democratic Party have also asked Rymbui to initiate action as the incident had drawn criticism from all quarters of society.
“We’ll take action on anything that goes beyond what the law permits,” Rymbui told reporters on Wednesday.
“We’ve to understand the situation as we are not here to protect anybody or hide anything. But before doing anything, we’ve to follow the due process of law,” the education minister said.
His statement came after one of the pressure groups threatened to march to the secretariat against the government’s delay to suspend those involved in issuing and executing the order to use tear gas against the teachers who were protesting peacefully.
Rymbui said a report that was sought from the district administration was yet to reach him.
“When I get the report, I will look into it and see what necessary steps can be taken. We will do it accordingly,” he assured.
Rymbui’s colleagues in the UDP had defended him by saying that it was difficult for the minister to take decisions on many issues related to the teachers as the finance department was not under him.
Asked about this, the home minister said everybody in a coalition government had a collective responsibility to serve the state of Meghalaya.
“It’s not a question of one man, but we have to see if we can together resolve the issue at hand… we should resolve it,” he added.News, States