Srinagar, May 03: Demanding delinking of their salaries from the union government, over 41,000 Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers on Thursday threatened to lock primary and middle schools in the valley.
Appointed under union government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the ReTs are paid by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
As their salaries get delayed by months, the ReTs demand that the state government should itself pay them.
The teachers, staging a sit-in at Press Enclave here, said they would lock all middle and primary schools on May 4 and 5, Chairman J&K ReT Teachers Forum, Farooq Ahmad Tantray, said.
“We have devised a protest calendar starting today. We will have a candlelight march towards the Chief Minister’s residence at Gupkar,” Tantray added.
The teachers, he said, would go for a “secretariat gherao” on May 7, when the Civil Secretariat opens in Srinagar.
“The government has made it a routine that they release a meagre one month’s salary and that, too, after three months delay, as if they give alms to beggars. We are nation-builders. We have been recruited under the ReT scheme through a proper government order,” he said.
Tantray demanded delinking of the ReTs’ salaries from MHRD.
“The salaries should be absorbed in the state budget, so that we are paid regularly. Till the government does not meet our demands, we will continue to be on strike,” he warned.
“A teacher recruited under the scheme becomes a permanent teacher after serving for five years. We are general-line teachers. Why is our salary delayed for months?” asked Tantray, adding that they have been without salaries for the last three months.
Appealing the protesting teachers to resume their duties, Minister for Education, Chowdhry Zulfikar Ali, said, “We will do whatever is possible for us.”
“We will take care of their interests. I have not joined yet. I will officially join on May 7. My first priority will be how their rights can be protected and how their future can be secured,” he added.
Appreciating the services of the ReTs, Zulfikar said that most of the schools were “dependent on them”.
“They have virtually streamlined the system. I will humbly request them to give us some more time. Once I am not able to handle the problem, they have every right to go on strike,” he said.
Restoration of Srinagar roads to begin this week: DC
Srinagar, Apr 21 : Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Sunday said that restoration work of roads across the district damaged during snow-clearance operations this past winter will start this week.
The DC who was speaking in a meeting with Superintending Engineers and Executive Engineers of the Public Works Department said the delay in repairing of roads resulted from the strike by contractors.
He said some 30 roads totalling over 60 kilometres of road length from across the district will be repaired adding that funds therefor have been released to the concerned agencies.
The concerned officers have been instructed to devote all efforts required and ensure completion of the road restoration work within the shortest time possible.
The DC while stating that the government recognises and is addressing the issues of the contractors said stringent of actions as warranted under the law will be taken against attempts at creating hinderances in the restoration work.
He said hinderances therein will be seen as attempts at causing public nuisance and inconvenience and that criminal proceedings will be initiated against offenders without second thoughts.
Dr Shahid who is also the District Election Officer of the Srinagar district said clearance on account of the Model Code of Conduct has been accorded for initiation of developmental works with special focus being on the roads.
Joint Director Planning M Yaseen Lone and Superintending Engineers Roads & Buildings and Circular Road Project Srinagar and Executive Engineers Construction Division-I, Construction Division-II, Left River Circular Road, Right River Circular Road, City Roads, Landscaping Division, Truck Terminal Division and Project Circle Division were all present in the meeting.
Article 370 bridge between J&K and Centre: Mir
Srinagar, Apr 21: J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President and party candidate from Anantnag Lok Sabha Parliamentary Constituency G A Mir on Sunday said that Article 370 reflects the unique identity of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, working as bridge between State and Centre.
“Congress Party will take all measures to safeguard the special status, won’t allow BJP to play with the emotions of the people, for the fact, the Special Status granted to J&K under Constitutions of India has emotional binding with the people, any attempt to dilute it will be thwarted,” Mir said while addressing public meetings at Halsidar, Halan, Dooru Ziyarat and at Historic Lal Chowk in Anantnag town.
Taking a jibe at BJP for raking up 370 issues for electoral gains, Mir said that, “BJP knows that the Article cannot be tinkered because of its permanency and supremacy, whatever Narindar Modi or Amit Shah, say with regard to the issue during their election rallies were based on lies and deceit to mislead people of the Country,” he said.
G.A Mir added and appealed people of Anantnag to ensure his victory with a thumping majority to ensure that communal and fascist forces, besides the opportunist political fronts in J&K are defeated.
He appealed people not to miss the opportunity of the present elections to defeat BJP-RSS menace, which have been dreaming to abrogate Article 370 once they get the clear majority and sought people support to defend the special status of the State from being eroded.
G.A. Mir said PDP which has failed people on all fronts even got the By-Elections to Anantnag Lok Sabha tactfully cancelled to evade defeat besides satisfying the BJP RSS because the communal forces were afraid of Congress Party’s victory, now this opportunist Party (PDP) was again trying to mislead people of south Kashmir for electoral gains, but at the same time, Mir felt confident that people of Anantnag will come out on 23rd April to cast their vote in favour of Congress Party to ensure that communal forces and their old friends were kept at bay, he said.
It is our ultimate goal to serve people and ensure their safety and development, we (Congress Party) will not be cowed down by the falsehood of PDP BJP and other opportunist Parties and will continue to serve people to the best of our ability, besides safeguarding the special status of the State, although Congress Party was the architect of Art 370 35A granting special status to J&K, but this time the party has reiterated its commitment which the Party has declared in its poll manifesto, G.A. Mir said .
Geelani calls for election boycott, shutdown in Anantnag on Apr 23
Srinagar, Apr 21: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani on Sunday urged people to boycott polls and observe shutdown on April 23 in Anantnag.
“Participation in elections, amounts to “betrayal of the sacred blood of martyrs and disrespect towards those who were deprived of their belongings, lost eyesight and those who while ruthless killed, arrested, economically strangulated, caged, enforced demographic changes through judicial onslaught just to cement the illegal forced occupation,” Geelani said in a statement.
He wanted people to stand united in defeating the nefarious designs of the oppressor and completely boycott the elections as they did in Srinagar, which will have very positive and encouraging effect on the ongoing movement, as Indian imperialistic mindset is portraying these elections as a substitute to our right to self-determination and always tries to hoodwink the Indian people & international community.
In a statement issued, Hurriyat (G) chairman further said that those who participate in elections and seeking votes from people have an unending lust of power and wealth, which increases with each passing day. They are nothing, but the worst enemies of our nation as they act as the collaborators of the oppressor just for their personnel gains. It is their lust for power and follies sponsored by these corroborators that justifies the enforced occupation, He said.
He said that we have invested mighty human material and every person, family and region has its own contribution which legalizes and compels the stakeholders not to let these precious sacrifices go waste.
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman said that our occupier is not only brutal but cunning as well. Votes on basic necessities and daily needs are being portrayed as endorsement for their forced occupation.
Elaborating leadership said, that we should convey a strong message to world community that Jammu and Kashmir is a political dispute and the election drama being staged in the territory by India cannot be an alternative to the right to self-determination for people in Jammu & Kashmir.
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