The suspension of five teachers by the education department on the second day of Eid-ul-Fitr has triggered a row in Kashmir with politicians and netizens dubbing the move as "harassment".
The teachers were suspended during a surprise visit to the Middle School Shalteng by chief education officer.
“The teachers are placed under suspension for unauthorised absence from schools, charge sheet shall be issued separately. The suspended officials will remain attached in the same school,” read an order issued by CEO Srinagar, Malik Naseer.
The move created debate on social media with the netizens terming the suspension as harassment of teachers by the department.
“The employees of other departments are celebrating Eid and the education department is harassing its employees. Government has made a joke of this department,” wrote a Facebook user.
Chairman JK Peoples’ Movement (JKPM) and former IAS officer, Dr Shah Faesal also raised queries over the issue and said Eid celebrations should last longer as Kashmiris get very little time to celebrate.
"Protracted conflict has made mourning as our culture. There is very little joy in our lives. Eid could be an important occasion to give people a few joyful days in an otherwise sombre ecosystem. People have a right to celebrate,” Faesal wrote on Facebook.
He made the statement in reference to an order issued by director school education Jammu (DSEJ) in 2005 wherein the government as well as private schools were ordered to shut schools for five days to observe Pooja holidays in Jammu division.
“I really appreciate DSEJ for declaring 5 days Pooja Holidays in Jammu. On the other hand our local darogas suspended teachers today on the second day of Eid for absence from duty,” Faesal wrote on Facebook.
“The director should have first confirmed about the attendance of employees in the directorate and civil secretariat, than should have asked the CEO Srinagar to take action against the teachers of Shalteng School," wrote another Facebook user,
Meanwhile, CEO Srinagar said the action against the teachers was taken after locals registered their complaint with DSEK against absence of teachers from the schools.
“We visited the schools and got to know that students had come to attend their classes but had to go back as the school was locked. Locals were aghast with it and complained about it to the department,” CEO Srinagar said. He further said the matter was under consideration of the department.
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