Teachers in Punjab End Their Protest

On Sunday, the teachers in government schools in Punjab announced that they are ending their protests at Bani Gala. This was a direct result of assurance received from the Islamabad deputy commissioner that their demands will be met. 

Contractual teachers belonging to the 36 districts of Punjab had come together for a sit-in at Bani Gala, which is located near the residence of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. They had converged only a day ago to ensure that enough attention was paid to their demand of being employed permanently. 

Qasim Bukhari, the Chairman of the core committee of the Secondary School Teachers, said that the administration of Islamabad had assured them regarding the resolutions of their demands. Just the previous day, a meeting had been held to discuss various negotiations with the Islamabad deputy commissioner. 

Bukhari informed that the DC had decided to mediate and assure the teachers that their demands will be met. However, the Chairman stated that they have only postponed the protest for a day. He went on to add that the sit-ins will continue if no progress is made with their demands. 

According to Bukhari, the government of Punjab had agreed to give permanent contractual agreements to 14,000 teachers. However, no practical steps had previously been taken in this regard. Earlier, it had also been reported that school teachers had been tear-gassed and baton-charged in close proximity of the premier’s mansion in Islamabad. 

Moreover, the protest in the federal capital of the country became a source of a massive traffic jam, which caused many hindrances in day to day activities of the residents.  Therefore, the police force in Islamabad deployed numerous officials with riot gear and barricaded the Bani Gala road. 

Attempts were consequently made to stop the teachers but, they persisted. The law-enforcement officials proceeded to fire tear-gas at the protestors and then baton-charged them. Several teachers ran for cover, some clung on to others whereas, some found themselves cornered by police officers. 

Numerous teachers were later arrested as a result of the clashes, which caused demonstrators to allegedly pelt officials with stones.