The Jammu and Kashmir government today said it will seek information from a private school regarding sacking of a teacher for wearing an ‘abaya’ (long cloak) even as it maintained the state was multi-religious, multi-cultural and a secular entity.
“It is a private school. We will contact the management and try to get to the truth,” Education Minister Naeem Akhtar told the Legislative Assembly after Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid raised the issue.
The teacher was sacked yesterday for wearing an ‘abaya’ to the school. A section of the students today staged a protest on the school campus seeking the teacher’s reinstatement.
Akhtar said we live in a multi-religious, multi-cultural and secular country where no one can be forced or pressurised to wear a particular dress.
Rashid also raised the issue of two Kashmiri girl students being detained at Delhi airport while returning home from Bangladesh. The minister replied that the girls were questioned on the basis of suspicion.
“There was some suspicion. The two girls were questioned and later, let off,” he said. Replying to a query of National Conference MLA Shameem Firdous regarding an incident yesterday where some girl students of a school were allegedly beaten up by a teacher inside a government hostel, the minister said the teacher has been put under suspension and a case registered against her.
“It is a very serious incident. It is the most brutal thing a teacher could have done to the children and I, as Education Minister, hang my head in shame,” he said. Akhtar said the teacher seemed to be a “psychopath” who had used the stick in the most brutal manner.
“I went to the hospital today. I went to the school as well. The teacher seems to be a psychopath. She has used her ‘lathi’ (stick) in the most brutal way. If the police or anyone else would have done this, I do not know how many commissions would have been formed,” said the minister.
“Seven girls have been hospitalised. Most of them are recovering. Some have fractures. Two children have plasters on their arms. One girl has a tender abdomen. She has bled through her mouth. Another girl had an agonising headache. She has received blows on her head,” he added. Akhtar said a police case has been lodged against the teacher and a hunt is on for her.
“She has gone underground. I have spoken to the SSP and IGP. We will get to her,” he said, adding that the teacher has been changing her hideouts. Police have raided 3-4 places but have not been able to arrest her.
“This is the sense of the House as well as the entire society that such people, psychopaths should not be part of our system,” said Akhtar.