Pampore: “Enjoy your marriage but don’t visit the school again. You have been fired from the job.” These were the words of the principal of Muslim Educational Institute (MEI) Pampore, a reputed private school in the Valley, spoken over phone to Tariq Ahmad Bhat, the teacher who had just lost his job.
Tariq Ahmad and his wife Sumaya Tariq, both residents of Arigam Tral, were teaching in the same school but in two different wings: Tariq in the boys’ wing and Sumaya in the girls’ wing.
Tariq told Kashmir Reader he was in a cheerful mood and was serving a feast to his guests when the principal rang him.
“I was expecting congratulations from him but it turned out to be quite the opposite. Suddenly, the cheerful ambience turned into gloom,” he said.
Tariq said when he was told he had lost his job, he was stunned, and then he began wandering about like an insane. Nobody from the gathered guests partook of the prepared feast, he said.
Tariq said that his marriage with Sumaya was not a love marriage but an arranged one, as both of them lived in nearby villages.
Tariq said that the management of the school did not object to their engagement six months earlier, and both of them were continuing their job as usual until now.
“This decision now has brought insult to both me and my wife,” he said, adding that both he and his wife were feeling humiliated by the school’s action.
Soon after the marriage concluded, Tariq went to the school and asked about the reason why he and his wife had been so treated.
“When I met the school secretary, Bashir Masoodi, he hurled invectives at me and made lewd comments about me and my wife. It left me in tears. I bowed at his feet begging that I be allowed to resume my duties,” Tariq said.
The secretary did not heed any pleas and asked Tariq to get out of the room.
Secretary of MEI Pampore, Bashir Masoodi, declined to comment on the matter, saying it will bring disrepute to the institution.
“The matter is over for the institution and nobody will comment on it,” he said.