SRINAGAR: At least 149 cases of Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers are pending with the Directorate of School Education, as the government agencies verifications have returned “adverse” reports, due to which the salaries of these teachers have been withheld from over last two years.
Besides, ReTs, the salaries of some Education Volunteers (EVs) are also withheld due to the ‘adverse’ reports.
A couple of days back, Shoaib Bashir, son of an ReT teacher Bashir Ahmad Mir, a resident of Avil-Noorabad in DH Pora area of Kulgam district committed suicide. Before committing suicide, Shoaib had recorded a video blaming the withholding of his father’s salary by the government for his desperate situation.
The death of Shoib had invited a sharp criticism. Jammu Kashmir Apni Party President Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari termed the incident as extremely disturbing, hoping that the incident acts as an eye opener and a wake-up call for the government. He demanded a strict action against those officials whose impervious attitude resulted in this sad incident.
A member of Jammu Kashmir Teachers Forum told Kashmir News Trust that it was the then Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik that had ordered re-verification of ReT teachers.
“Back in 2018, teachers staged a hunger strike for over one month at Pratap Park Srinagar, demanding regularization of ReT teachers. The then Governor Satya Pal Malik conceded with a condition that all these ReT teachers will undergo government re-verification. Government agencies gave adverse reports about 149 ReT teachers besides some EVs turned ReT teachers.”
The data available with Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum reveals that out of these 149 teachers whose salaries have been withheld from past 2 years, at least 70 are Pakistan Trained Militants (PTMs).
“In 1990 the scenario was totally different. Almost everyone was directly or indirectly involved with militancy. So, to blame these teachers for the acts they have committed is totally injustice. Besides, Government always welcomes those who choose the path of non-violence and enters into main-stream. This is what these teachers have done and instead of punishing them they should be encouraged so that an example can be set in for others,” said a respectable citizen wishing not to be named.
Chairman Jammu Kashmir Teachers Forum, Muhamamd Rafiq Rather alleges that there are some officers in the Directorate of School Education who are naissance more than an asset. Even Apni Party Chairman Syed Altaf Bukhari had alleged bureaucracy for the mess.
“This highly abhorrible incident (suicide of ReT teacher’s son) depicts an appalling picture of the level of mental stress and trauma of the families whose salaries have been withheld by an apathetic bureaucratic set-up even in the pressing times of Covid-19 pandemic,” Bukhari had said.
Rafiq Rather while demanding action against the officers responsible for the suicide of Shoib Bashir said he demands answer to only question from the government. “If the salaries of these ReT teachers are withheld for the adverse reports, why then government availed their services during the times of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and why they were duped for the election duties?” he questioned.
“These officers in the Directorate need to be reshuffled and there is an urgent need to fix the responsibility,” Rather told KNT.
Pertinently, one can hear in the video, Shoib had recorded before committing suicide that he hopes that his suicide will act as a wakeup call and end the misery of all such people. (KNT)