Teacher suspended for Facebook post 'critical of Govt'

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Srinagar Feb 24:A teacher in Ramban district has been suspended for a Facebook post allegedly critical of the Government.

The suspension order to this effect has been issued by District Magistrate Ramban, Mussarat Islam. "Pending enquiry and for violations of directions passed by the Government regarding criticism of policies of the Government by its employees on social media platforms, Joginder Singh, Teacher GPS Chanderkote, is hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect," the order reads.

As per the suspension order, the teacher shall remain attached in the office of the Chief Education Officer, (CEO) Ramban. The District Magistrate has also ordered for the constitution of an inquiry Committee headed by Additional District Development Commissioner, Ramban to probe the matter.

The other members of the committee include Chief Education Officer Ramban, Zonal Education Officer Batote and Headmaster HS Chanderkote. "The Inquiry Committee so constituted shall initiate an in-depth enquiry and submit a detailed/ comprehensive report in the matter, along with specific recommendations, by or before March 25 of 2023," the order reads.

"Some Facebook posts were found making rounds on social media networks on which the policies and achievements of Government were criticized and after securitizing the said Facebook page(s), it has been found that the Facebook account is in the name of person Joginer Singh, who happens to be a Teacher in School Education Department, Ramban, presently posted at GPS Chanderkote, Education Zone Batote," the order reads.

It reads that the report was sought from the CEO Ramban for ascertaining the facts as to whether said Joginder Singh is working as Teacher in School Education Department, District Ramban or otherwise. "The Chief Education Officer, Ramban, sought a detailed report from the Zonal Education Officer, Batote regarding the said Facebook page of the aforementioned person and the Zonal Education Officer, Batote, submitted his detailed report to the Chief Education Officer, Ramban and the same was endorsed to this office vide No.CEO/R/23/24775-76, dated February 22 of 2023 , by the Chief Education Officer, Ramban," the suspension order reads.

After perusal of the said report, it has been confirmed that Joginder Singh is presently working as Teacher in GPS Chanderkote and is presently deployed in MS Sawni, Zone Batote, the order reads. "It has been revealed that his pay was kept withheld for misuse of social media in 2020 also by the Chief Education Officer, Ramban and the same was released after submission of written apology from the said Teacher," the order reads.

"It has been found that the said teacher has posted various posts criticizing and commenting adversely about the Government policies on his Facebook page. Besides, he has concealed his identity and made fake Facebook ID with a profession as socio-political activist and not a Government Teacher," the order reads.

The order reads that after proper scrutiny of the social network account, it has been found that four Facebook pages are running on the name of the said teacher and amongst them only in two pages of the said teacher has written his designation as Teacher and in others he has written his designation as socio-political activist. "The teacher was transferred from Higher Secondary School Rajgarh to Government Girls Primary School, Chanderkote, during  the previous ATD, but the PRIs of Panchayat Kunfer (Chanderkote) objected to his posting in GPS Chanderkote due to his doubtful character," the order reads.

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