Anantnag: A government teacher in Anantnag district has alleged that the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Kokernag, and his sub-ordinates, mercilessly thrashed him and made him rub his forehead over his own spit as punishment.
An unapologetic SDM, Rauf Rehman, maintained that the teacher was not beaten but acknowledged that he made the teacher to spit and rub his forehead over it.
“This was the least punishment I could think of,” Rehman said.
According to the teacher, Abdul Qayoom Wani, he was punished for seeking back a teacher sent on deputation to the SDM office for “election duty” to the government’s winter coaching program.
“The education minister has said teachers will not be engaged elsewhere, other than their department. I called this teacher, Gulzar Ahmad Wani, and wanted him to join back his duty. I did it in capacity of being the Academic Monitor for Lidder zone,” Wani said.
He said that his call was interrupted by a clerk of the SDM’s office who used harsh words against him.
“I too, in the heat of the moment, used some harsh language and thought the matter was over with. But I got a call in the evening summoning me to the SDM office,” Wani said.
There in the office, he said, he was mercilessly thrashed by the SDM and his sub-ordinates and made to rub his forehead on spit.
“They also snatched my phone and formatted it,” he said.
Rehman denied the allegations of beating him and said that the teacher in question tried to sabotage the process of Summary Revision of Electoral Rolls, initiated by the Election Commission of India.
“Gulzar Ahmad Wani was working in my office and the said teacher tried to influence him and leave his work midway without any orders from the higher ups,” Rehman said.
Besides, Rehman said, that Wani used derogatory language against him during the phone call he made to Gulzar.
“SDPO Kokernag and SHO concerned were in my office at that time. They can vouch that I did not beat him but yes I did make him rub his forehead on his spit for that was the least punishment I could think of to take against him,” Rehman said.
Asked if he was justified in what he did Rehman said that he cannot comment on that.
“Let government decide it. Why are you focusing on only one point and ignoring other facts,” he said.
SDPO Kokernag, Aijaz Ahmad, acknowledged that he was present in the SDM office and that nobody thrashed Wani.
“He was asked to apologize by all of us but the SDM made him spit on the floor and seek forgiveness by rubbing his forehead over it,” the SDPO said.
He agreed that this should not have been the line of action by the SDM, instead official action should have been taken against the person if he was at fault.
Wani along with many other teachers from District Teacher’s Forum, District ReT Forum and District Lecturer’s Forum today held a peaceful protest against the SDM at Deputy Commissioner’s office in Anantnag today.
DC Anantnag, Younis Malik, said an inquiry has been intimated into the matter and facts will be ascertained soon.