ANANTNAG: A government school teacher was critically injured after being assaulted by a Panchayat member and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) worker in Arwani village of Kulgam district on Thursday.
Sartaj Ahmad Hakeem of Gund Chahal village was attacked by the Panch, Muzaffar Ahmad Malla, with an iron rod while he was on duty at government primary school Chanpora, Yaripora. Sartaj was taken to district hospital Anantnag, where his condition is stated to be critical.
District president, teachers forum, Kulgam , Ahmad-u-llah told Kashmir Reader that the Panch’s wife works as a cook in the school and her wages have not been released for several months: “The teacher had asked the cook to prepare mid-day meals on time and that he was not responsible for releasing her wages. This enraged her husband who rushed to the school and resorted to a murderous assault on the teacher by hitting him with an iron rod.”
“We went to the hospital on Friday morning to check on him, but till 11 am, when we left the hospital, he was not in a condition to talk but was only able to make slight movements,” Ahmad-u-llah added.
He also demanded the immediate arrest and stern punishment for the accused. “We, along with chief education officer Kulgam, visited the police station and met the SHO. We urged him to immediately arrest the accused Panch. If the police fails to arrest him, we will go on a strike,” he said.
He added that the wife of the Panch has every right to demand her wages from the government, but her husband being a political worker has no authority to visit the school and assault a teacher.
Station house officer (SHO), Yaripora, Mohammad Ayoub, confirmed that the Panch attacked the teacher after his wife had an argument with him over the non-payment of her wages. “We have registered an FIR, number 95 under section 452 and 332, against the accused. Since he has gone into hiding, efforts are on to nab him. We have so far raided a couple of places to arrest him,” the SHO told Kashmir Reader.