KARACHI: Police on Tuesday allegedly manhandled and detained over 100 teachers as they attempted to proceed towards the Sindh Assembly and Chief Minister House from the Karachi Press Club to put pressure on authorities to fulfil their demands mainly pertaining to regularisation of their services, protesters and officials said.
However, all of them were released later in the evening.
Several teachers, including female teachers, started their march from the KPC and when they reached near Fawara Chowk, contingents of police stopped them from moving further ahead.
The officials engaged them in negotiations initially, which failed. Upon which the police detained over 100 teachers and manhandled them, the protesting teachers claimed.
Mansoor Marri, the general secretary of the NTS teachers association, who was among the detained teachers told Dawn that around 130 teachers had been detained and taken to a police station. He claimed that two teachers were injured when the police resorted to baton charge against them.
However, Saddar SP Ali Mardan Khoso denied that any harsh action had been against the protesting teachers.
The officer said that the police held talks with teachers and tried to persuade them to call off their protest.
Another officer said the teachers had wanted to go to the Sindh education minister’s office for lodging their protest. He said they were informed that the minister was not available in the metropolis, but the teachers were bent upon moving towards there. The officer admitted that around 113 teachers were detained, who might be released later on after getting assurances from them.
The officer said the police had asked them to restrict their protest to the KPC road and did not enter the ‘Red Zone’ but they did not listen to the authorities, upon which they were detained.
The teachers removed barricades on the road and attempted to move towards Chief Minister House, where the police started detaining them.
The officer said one of the protesting teachers also ‘slapped’ an assistant sub-inspector of police.
Witnesses said that National Testing Service (NTS) passed teachers staged a sit-in outside the KPC again on Monday. The protesters claimed that they had passed required tests in year 2013, but they were not being given job orders despite passage of a ruling of the Sindh High Court in their favour seven months ago.
The protesting teachers accused the provincial government of ‘selecting’ only IBA-passed teachers while NTS-passed teachers had been subjected to ‘discrimination’.
They demanded uniformity in policy of teachers who passed NTS and IBA tests since past nine years.
They contended that homes/villages of all NTS teachers had been washed away during the floods and demanded job order letters for them, otherwise, they would continue their protest.
Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2022