Police disperses protesting teachers

SRINAGAR: Police on Wednesday used water cannons and batons to disperse a protest march of government appointed teachers in Kashmir, officials said.

The agitating teachers demanding regularization of their services and increase in monthly salaries called for a march to enter the civil secretariat in Srinagar to fulfill their demands.

The civil secretariat comprises of the office of region’s chief minister, his ministers and top bureaucrats. The lawmaking body of the region is currently in session in Srinagar.

Hundreds of employees in groups gathered on different roads of the city and tried to proceed towards the civil secretariat. The protesting employees shouting anti-government slogans to press for their demands were chased away by policemen deployed in full strength across the city.

“Our services are not being confirmed for the past eight years by the government despite their promises,” said Zameer Ahmad, a teacher appointed under a scheme locally called Rehbar-e-Taleem ( educational guides). “The delaying tactics of the government is forcing us to come on roads for protests.” Teachers alleged the police arrested dozens of employees, including their leaders and detained them in police stations.

“Coloured water was sprayed on the protesting teachers to chase them away them,” said a police official. “Their assembly on roads was causing problems for the pedestrians and the vehicular traffic. ” The region’s government some years back initiated the scheme of engaging educational guides on the nominal monthly salary of Rs 1500 in the schools across the region. According to officials, the service of teachers appointed under this scheme was supposed to be confirmed after five years period.