Police foil teachers' protest march

Syed Rizwan Geelani
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jul 18 2018 12:40AM | Updated Date: Jul 18 2018 12:40AM
Police foil teachers' protest marchPhoto: Mubashir Khan/GK

Police on Tuesday used force to thwart teachers’ protest march at Residency Road here. 

Hundreds of teachers assembled at Sher-i-Kashmir Park here under the banner of teacher joint action committee (TJAC) to protest against government’s failure to implement 7th pay commission for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and head teachers in schools.

The protesting teachers were also demanding de-linking of their salary from MHRD funds. As the protesting teachers began to march on Residency Road, police swung into action and used force to disperse the protestors by using water canon. 

Dozens of protesting teachers including union leaders were bundled in police vehicle and lodged at Kothi Bagh police station.

To mention, the previous PDP-led coalition government excluding SSA teachers, head teachers and RMSA masters from the benefits of 7th pay commission in March this year. This had enraged the teaching community and they started hitting streets in protest against the government.

Various committees were constituted to put forth their recommendations to the government and suggest a way out to resolve the issue once for all. However, there is no development so far in this. 

Meanwhile, teachers raised slogans to press for their demands and threatened of taking violent means of protest if government didn’t provide benefits of 7th pay commission to SSA teachers, Head teachers and RMSA masters. “Government should also take steps for de-linking of their salary from MHRD,” said TJAC president, Abdul Qayoom Wani.

He accused the government of giving “step-motherly” treatment to SSA teachers and saying the aggrieved teaching community used every medium to convey to the government their grievances.

“It is unfortunate that the two teachers posted in one school are given different treatment. One teacher is given every benefit while as another (SSA teacher) is denied of all these benefits. But the same SSA teachers and head teachers have taken yearly increments after regularization; time bound promotion and benefits of 6th pay commission. But I fail to understand on what grounds they are denied 7th pay commission,” Wani said.

Wani said the teachers don’t want to hit streets given the importance of children enrolled in schools.

“But government is forcing us to take such steps. But authorities should not think that it is only matter of 40000 SSA teachers but their families are equally depressed with the government’s indifferent attitude,” TJAC president said. He said “if government didn’t resolve the issue on war footprint then Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) comprising six lakh employees will launch an agitation against the government,” he added.

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