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Despite attending training, 42 teachers get notices from EC

Teaching staff of Progressive Education Society's Modern School staged a protest at deputy election officer's office, asking the notices be withdrawn

An angry mob of around 42 teachers converged at the deputy district election office yesterday after they received notices for not attending election training. Now, here comes the twist: the teachers, in fact, had attended the training.

Poll duty: The teachers demanded answers from deputy district election officer Apurva Wankhede and asked why they were sent notices despite attending the training. Pic/Mohan Patil
Poll duty: The teachers demanded answers from deputy district election officer Apurva Wankhede and asked why they were sent notices despite attending the training. Pic/Mohan Patil 

Teachers from Progressive Education Society's (PES) Modern High School received the notices from the Election Commission stating that remaining absent for election training was a grave issue and action would be initiated against them under the Representation of People Act 1951, if they didn't answer the notice within 24 hours.

The furious teachers, refusing to let the matter go, descended at deputy district election officer Apurva Wankhede's office, seeking answers.

"Election training was held on March 27 where all 42 teaching staff members were present. Receiving notices even after honestly doing our duty is the most ridiculous thing ever," said V M Ujgare, Superintendent of Modern High School. Another teacher Dinesh Kulkarni added, "How can officials send us notices without cross-checking our attendance, which has been recorded?"

Second act
Teachers said that this wasn't the first time that such a blunder had occurred. In fact, Ujgare added, "In the past too, they have misplaced the list of teachers, who have attended the election training. It is a possibility that they lost the attendance sheet."

And it wasn't just the teachers who were surprised about receiving the notices. Deputy district election officer, Apurva Wankhede was equally surprised about the notices and in an attempt to calm them down, she said, "I can assure you that if you attended the training, no action will be initiated. I will have a word with the respective officials and clear out the confusion."

It was later revealed that the notices had been sent by assistant election officer of Shivajinagar constituency, Dhanaji Patil. When contacted, Patil said, "If they were present for the training we will not initiate any action. It may have happened due to some mistake. Once they will answer our notice, we will take back the notices."

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