Police use force to disperse Kashmir teachers

Srinagar, Aug 5 (IANS) Police on Wednesday used force in a bid to disperse teachers after they tried to march towards the Jammu and Kashmir Secretariat.

Around 3,000 Rehbaar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers assembled in the commercial hub Lal Chowk to denounce the government decision to hold a test for the teachers.

“We are protesting against the dictatorial decision of the government which is bent on insulting us,” said Farooq Ahmad Tantray, president of the teachers’ forum.

As the teachers started to march towards the secretariat, housing the office of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and ministers, police swung into action.

They used coloured water and tear smoke against the demonstrators. But the teachers kept regrouping, and the protests continued in the area.

“All ReTs were selected through a transparent process based on merit. All orders for our selection were issued by the director school education in Srinagar and Jammu,” Tantray said.

“It is ironic that the education minister is now questioning our credentials and has used derogatory remarks against us,” Tantray added.

There are nearly 65,000 ReTs in Jammu and Kashmir who are paid a consolidated monthly salary of 3,000 rupees for five years before they get regularized.

Tantray said the teachers were selected through a government scheme going on since 2000.

The Jammu and Kashmir government said it was following a high court order to scrutinize the degree certificates and screen those teachers who obtained their degrees through distance mode.

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