Srinagar: Police used teargas and baton charge to foil a protest march of teachers who were protesting against the government’s new transfer policy.
Tens of hundreds of teachers assembled at the Municipal Park, Polo View, where chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Teachers’ Forum Abdul Qayoom Wani addressed them.
Shouting ‘hum se jo takraye ga choor choor ho jayegaa’ (Whoever annoys us will become dust), the gathering directed its anger at director school education Shah Faesal and former education minister Naeem Akhter.
Qayoom recently drew flak for taunting Faesal and accused him of amassing money. Today again, he targeted the young bureaucrat and called him a “postman” unworthy of a fight with a huge organisation like Teachers Forum. This is probably why the Rehbar-e-Taleem Teachers Association and General Line Teachers’ Forum did not participate in today’s protest.
“Our protest is not against director school education Shah Faesal. Who is He? You (Shah Faesal) are like a postman… Lions fight with equals,” Qayoom said.
Qyoom said that teachers are the real owners of education department and asked Faesal to “follow the system, not Naeem Akhter”.
“Teachers have worked under various directors and they were very cordial with us…you are like a kid. Teachers respect you because your father was a teacher and your mother is a teacher. You too should learn to respect teachers and not become a pawn in a political game,” Qayoom said.
Warning the director that the teachers have the support of 5 lakh government employees who will “drag you down if you don’t stop your dictatorial policies”, Qayoom said, “Education department is sacred don’t pollute it by roping in NGOs that are exploiting our girls in the name of cultural programmes.”
The teachers then marched towards Lal Chowk. However, police detained Qayoom near Regal Chowk and dispersed the protesters using batons, teargas and water canons.
Some of the teachers reached the Press Enclave and staged a sit-in protest. Many of them were detained by the police.
The Forum has appealed governor NN Vohra, the chief secretary and divisional commissioner Kashmir to intervene in the issue, failing which the EJAC will organise a protest before Raj Bhavan on 13 Feb and then follow it up with statewide protests.