Chandigarh, Nov 6 (PTI) Vowing to intensify their stir against the Congress government over it’s refusal to regularise their jobs without a pay cut, agitating teachers in Punjab will observe ‘black’ Diwali on Wednesday, they said on Tuesday.

The announcement comes a day after their scheduled meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to resolve the issue on Monday was cancelled after the agitators failed to call of their protest.

“We will intensify our stir now. We will observe black Diwali tomorrow (Wednesday),”said Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha’s state committee member Bikramjit Singh on Tuesday.

“Groups of teachers dressed in black will take out protest marches in busy markets of Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala, Jalandhar, Rupnagar, Bathinda and Hoshiarpur. Teachers will also carry placards mentioning their demands,” he added.

In Amritsar, the teachers will stand on the road leading to the Golden Temple, Singh said, adding that the people and visitors should know what the state government is doing to them.

Singh said that some of teachers will also sit on a hunger strike.

The protesting teachers are against the state government’s decision to fix their monthly salary at Rs 15,000 during probation period for regularisation of their jobs.

At present, contractual teachers are getting Rs 42,300 per month.

The teachers have been holding a sit-in in Patiala, the chief minister’s constituency, in support of their demands since October 7.

Singh further added that the next course of action will be decided after a joint meeting of teachers’ unions, employees’ unions and farmers’ outfits which is scheduled for November 10 at Patiala.

Several employees federations and farmers organisations have also extended their support to the agitation.

On October 3, the Punjab cabinet had given its go ahead to the regularisation of the services of 8,886 teachers recruited under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), as well as those in Adarsh and model schools.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.