Police thrash, detain SSA teachers in Srinagar

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, May 14: Police today resorted to baton charge and used water cannon against Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers who were protesting for delinking of their salaries from the Central Fund.
Under the banner of Jammu and Kashmir Rehbar-e-Taleem Teachers Forum (ReTTF) hundreds of teachers from different districts of State staged a protest at Pratap Park here today. They were holding placards inscribed with demands for the delinking of their salaries from the central fund. They said over 40,000 teachers are not receiving their salaries regularly as the Government has failed to streamline their salaries.
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They said that SSA teachers have not received salary for the past three-four months. “Government is playing with the future of thousands of SSA teachers who are without any salary for last three months. This delay has badly affected our families”, a protester said.
Several protesters were bundled into police vans near Pratap Park here after they tried to march towards Residency Road, bringing the traffic to grinding halt for nearly half an hour. After stepping out of the park the police, equipped with riot gear, stopped the protestors outside the Press Enclave here, used water cannon and baton-charged the agitators to disperse them. Scenes of teachers being hit with batons and high-velocity water from water cannons were also witnessed.
Participants of the rally, who gathered outside the Pratap Park, alleged police of using force against the protestors. “We were protesting peacefully but the police used force and did not allow us to hold a peaceful march”, a protester said.
The protesters said that they have been demanding to streamline their salaries for last several years but to no avail. “The tall claims of the Government to regulate the SSA salaries have fallen flat as teachers have to wait for months for the release of their salaries,” Fayaz Ahmad, a teacher from Baramulla said.
They said that there were nearly 50, 000 SSA teachers working with the Education Department. “Almost 50% of the staff of Primary and Middle Schools is working under SSA. If the Government wants that schools should function properly it should streamline our salaries, “Syed Muzamil, a teacher from Budgam said.
The teachers said their protest would continue until their demands are met. “If the release of SSA salary is not streamlined soon we will intensify protest,” a protester said.


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