Lucknow: As much as 1,621 teachers are said to have lost their lives after contracting COVID during the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls. The state Prathmik Shikshak Sangh has demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore be given to the families of the staff and teachers who died.
A primary teachers' union in UP released a list of teachers who died of COVID after taking election duties. The list was later tweeted by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The Union alleged that the despite assurance from the state Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari that teachers who were suffering from illness would not be asked to attend polling duties, those were absent either suspended or faced salary cuts.
The Union demanded the government should immediately suspend all punitive action against teachers for the failure in attending election duties and all the teachers, including those who succumbed to the virus attack, should be declared as "corona warriors".
Meanwhile, the UP Prathmik Shikshak Sangh president Dinesh Chandra alleged that the district administration failed to strictly follow coronavirus safety protocols at the counting centres during the panchayat polls.
Even after the lapses, Chandra said the district administrative officials have pursued primary teachers with punitive actions.
The Allahabad High Court on May 11 had said that the compensation provided to kin of polling officers who died on duty during the Panchayat polls due to the "deliberate act on the part of the State and the State Election Commission to force them to perform duties in the absence of RTPCR support" should be at least Rs 1 crore.