Teachers forced to risk lives
THERE ARE PROBLEMS IN CITY, TOWNS: MINISTER
UMER MAQBOOL DAR
Srinagar , July 28: Teachers in the summer capital and elsewhere in most towns across Kashmir have accused the government of coercion and exposing them to humiliation and thrashing by the police and paramilitary troopers. Even after having failed to create the enabling conditions, its administration has begun forcing the teachers to risk their lives to reach their workplaces.
Reports of harassment and thrashing of teachers, even females, allegedly by the troopers and police have been pouring in from all over the city and towns after they produced their identity cards in pursuance of the “official hoax” that these would be accepted as curfew passes. While the men in khaki treated the I-cards with contempt, in umpteen cases, the holders were abused and beaten to pulp.
A lecturer at the Government Higher Secondary School , Narbal, said on condition of anonymity that he was thrashed by troopers though he showed them his identity card.
“On Monday, I ventured out on my scooter to attend my school. The policemen and troopers at Qamarwari chowk stopped me. Instead of allowing me to proceed, they pounced upon me with bamboo sticks and beat me to pulp. The principal of our school, who came to my rescue, too was humiliated and abused,” the lecturer told Greater Kashmir.
Many teachers from downtown city localities accused the police and troopers of preventing them from attending to their duties. “The troopers do not allow us to come out of our homes even after we show them our I-cards. How can we reach our institutions 30-40 km away in these days when there is no public transport available on any route. The official announcements that our identity cards would be treated as curfew passes are just a hoax as they are not being honoured,” said Nazir Ahmed (name changed), a teacher from downtown.
Incidentally, most schools and colleges record zero attendance of students in view of the prevailing insecurity. It is no different even in various towns. A female teacher from the city’s Jawahar Nagar presently serving in Pulawma said the teachers’ presence in schools served no purpose, as the attendance of students was almost zero.
“We are putting our lives to risk for no fun as the parents don’t send their wards to schools. We just sign on the attendance register and sit idle whole day,” she said.
A group of visibly agitated teachers from the city visited Greater Kashmir office to allege harassment by both the administration and security forces. They accused the government of being pathetically out of touch with the ground situation.
“On the one hand, the government has failed to bring the situation under control and prefers to enforce declared and undeclared curfew and restrictions on movement of people and on the other it is unable to ensure availability of public transport services. Even then, the authorities are adopting coercive methods against the teachers,” the deputation said.
When contacted, Minister for School Education, Peerzada Muhammed Sayed, admitted that there were problems for teachers particularly in Srinagar city and towns across the valley. “The difficulties being faced by the teachers would be addressed shortly,” he told Greater Kashmir.
Asked how the teachers could make it to their schools when public transport services were not available and the administration had miserably failed to provide it, the minister said the government would initiate steps to make the required arrangements for the purpose.
Meanwhile, sharply reacting to threats hurled by Rural Development Minister, Ali Muhammad Sagar, asking the government employees to return to their duties or face action, several officials countered by asking the government to ensure availability of public transport services. “Instead of fulfilling its responsibilities, the government should stop hurling such threats which can precipitate further worsening of the situation,” they told Greater Kashmir.
“The minister cannot move about even in his constituency without elaborate security and officially-provided fleets of vehicles. How does he expect the employees attend to their offices when the government has miserably failed to (a) ensure availability of public transport services to people, and (b) tame its own police and troopers?” they asked.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 29 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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