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IIOJK in focus

In video before suicide, Kashmiri student highlights salary denial to teachers

Srinagar, June 01 (KMS): Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, a last video message from a student, Shoib Bashir, who died by suicide on Saturday, has drawn attention to the miserable plight of a group of government school teachers in the territory.

Shoib Bashir, the son of a government school teacher, was forced to end his life by his failure to pay the fees for his MA course in psychology.

“The only reason behind my suicide is non-payment of salary to my father for last over two years. It has made our life pathetic beyond words,” Shoaib Bashir is heard saying in the video.

His father, Bashir Ahmad Mir, was not paid since March 2019. The authorities had blocked his salary citing a police verification report. The 51-year-old teacher was arrested in 1990s on the charges of supporting the freedom movement. A local court later acquitted him of all charges. The CID verification report contains no adverse remarks against Bashir Mir. The report concludes that “he is presently silent and busy with his job”. “A court has also issued orders asking that wages be released,” Shoib Bashir’s father said.

Bashir Mir told media that his son was a sensitive person and “felt troubled that his father was unable to pay for his education despite being a teacher”. “In the video you can see what he is saying. That he is sacrificing his life for all those teachers who suffer because of non-payment of salary over the last two years,” he added.

Around 140 teachers in IIOJK have not received salary since March 2019. All of them have blamed the former Director of School Education Younis Malik, who was transferred a few months ago.

As Shoib Bashir’s video was widely circulated, officials have started some action. The current Director of School Education, Tasaduq Mir, said he has submitted a report to the government and expects a decision very soon.

“A court has also issued orders asking that wages be released,” said Bashir Mir, referring to an order from the IIOJK High Court last year.

The salaries had not been released despite the order.

All political parties in Kashmir have asked for investigation into the matter. They are demanding immediate action against officials whose callousness led the tragic death of a student.

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