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Police 'arresting' teachers who protested unpaid salaries in Feb.

Byline: Munawer Azeem

ISLAMABAD -- The police have allegedly started arresting teachers who participated in protests in February because they had not been paid for six months.

Daily-wage teachers in the capital protested in February because they had not received their salaries for six months, Young Teachers Association representative Fahad Meraj, a physics lecturer at a college in G-9, said.

He said a case was registered regarding this protest with the Karachi Company police against 22 nominated teachers and a number of unidentified teachers as well.

He said police began arresting teachers on Wednesday in connection with this FIR, raiding the Islamabad Model College for Girls G-10/3 to arrest an English lecturer and Young Teachers Association president Rabia Waheed.

The four-member police team did not find Ms Waheed at the college when they arrived and were unable to arrest her, Mr Meraj said.

'Due to lack of funds to hire a lawyer, the teachers nominated in the FIR did not get pre-arrest bail,' he said, adding: 'Our salaries were stopped once again, and daily-wage teachers have not gotten a penny for the last four months.'

The teachers had protested in front of the Federal Directorate of Education in G-9 in February, and it was over this protest that the case was registered, he said. The teachers had then protested the registration of the case with a sit-in on Kashmir Highway.

However, they ended the sit-in after negotiations with the then Capital Administration and Development Division minister, deputy commissioner and senior superintendent of police, with assurances that the FIR would be quashed.

But, Mr Meraj said, neither side fulfilled their commitments. He added that during their protest, PTI politicians had expressed solidarity with them.

'PTI politicians including Asad Umar, Shehryar Afridi and Nafeesa Khattak joined the protest to show solidarity when they were sitting on the opposition benches,' he said. 'Now they turned their backs and avoid them after getting the treasury benches in parliament.'

He added that when teachers had tried to contact the parliamentarians and PTI's candidate for NA-53 they were unable to reach them.

The association has announced that a 'black day' will be observed on Oct 5, World Teachers' Day, in front of the National Press Club over this matter, he said.

Karachi Company Station House Officer Sub-Inspector Habibur Rehman, when contacted, said no one from the Karachi Company police had raided anywhere to arrest the teachers.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 4, 2018
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