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Karachi

September 13, 2017

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Riot police let loose on teachers yet again

Riot police let loose on teachers yet again

Demanding payment of salaries now five years overdue, protesting teachers were for the umpteenth time baton-charged by the city’s police force outside the local press club on Tuesday.

Two teachers were reportedly injured in the mayhem while three were taken into custody. As sticks did not seem to be doing the job, the law enforcers also resorted to the use of water cannons to disperse the protesters.

The teachers claimed that the concerned authorities had assured them of paying their salaries before Eid. But despite a week having passed since Eid, the salaries were yet to be released. The frustrated teachers also threatened to surround the Chief Minister House if their demands were not met.

Following the incident, provincial information secretary Nasir Hussain Shah reached out to the protestors; negotiations are, however, still to reach a conclusion. 

Earlier, the New Teachers Action Committee had on July 25 taken to the streets to protest against the education department for not releasing their salaries since August 2012 after their appointments were declared fake.

The protesting officials were intercepted by a heavy contingent of the local police force at the Sarwer Shaheed Road, near the Arts Council roundabout.  The protestors began marching towards the assembly building after secretary education schools, Abdul Aziz Uqaili, did not meet with the three-member committee of the teachers.

Similarly, on June 5, while the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was announcing a 24 percent increase in the provincial education budget the teachers were protesting to be paid their salaries. However, use of force against the protesting teachers has become a hallmark of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government.

On March 31, last year, the provincial authorities ordered the police to baton-charge and use water cannons to disperse teachers protesting outside the DJ Science College against corruption, all the while ‘negotiating’ with hate-spewing protesters encamped at Numaish Chowrangi for the past four days.

The teachers were staging a protest rally for their increments and promotions and scrutiny of college principals and against corruption in the education department.

The Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association, members of which faced the police’s wrath outside the college had gathered from all districts of the province and after holding a general body meeting, were marching towards the Chief Minister’s House to register their concerns.

However, the police, who had surrounded the main entrance of the DJ College, used a water cannon to stop them. At least three teachers suffered injuries.  Professor Shoukat Jokhio from the Government Degree College, Quaidabad was immediately shifted to the Civil Hospital as he had suffered deep wounds to his head. The other two were identified as Professor Muhammad Ayub and Professor Mehar Sultana.

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