A teaching couple sacked in Kashmir for an ‘allegation of romance’; now back to work, but what about their mental stress?

Khushboo, WordForPeace.com

A few days ago, a teaching couple was sacked from job in Kashmir who was working as a teacher in a private school in Pampore, a historic town situated on the eastern side of river Jehlum on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway in Jammu and Kashmir.

Tariq Bhat and Sumaya Bashir—residents of Tral town in Pulwama—were employed at Pampore Muslim Educational Institute for the past several years. But their services were abruptly terminated by the school management on November 30, the day they got married.

It is indeed surprising to note that the school administration took this action even after their marriage was solemnised. The chairman of the school Bashir Masoodi said the couple was relieved from their services as they were in a “romantic relationship” before getting married. “They were having a romance and it is not good for the 2,000 students of the school and 200 staff members working there. This can adversely affect the students,” Masoodi said, according to PTI news agency.

The teaching couple, however, denied the ‘allegation of romance’ and asserted that that they had an arranged marriage. But the school principal maintains: “they both were in relationship before getting married, which could badly affect on students’ minds”.

On the other hand the teachers, Sumaya Bashir and Tariq Bhat claim that only this was an arranged marriage, but even all the staff of the school was well aware about it. “We don’t know why school took this action which was totally wrong?” the couple asked.

Interestingly, Sumaya invited the school staff on their engagement party and some of the staff even attended it. Then, what and how wrong were they doing? They both applied for a leave application in November for their marriage and the school had sanctioned it. Then how could they legally dismiss them from the teaching job??

Actually, many questions arise out of this quagmire which is quite intriguing as well as interesting. One such question is: What if it was a love marriage? They were doing it by consent and with their family support. So, how could it leave an adverse impact on the minds of the school children? They were not doig anything illegal, then how come the school took this action?

Notably, the J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) took cognizance of the news report about the teacher couple’s sacking on their wedding day. Thus, they had asked the principal, Tariq Ahmad Bhat of Muslim Education Institute to appear before it. The sacked teacher couple had welcomed the decision of State Human Rights commission for summoning the school authorities.

Now it is gratifying to note that the teaching couple is back to work now as the principle has appointed them again. But, what about the mental stress, which they both have been forced to face? Of course, they should get the compensation of the mental and social harassment, which the school administration caused to them. At the very least, the school management must apologize to them.

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