GILGIT (ET): Professors and lecturers across Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) have launched a ‘token strike’ against the suspension of their colleagues, threatening to intensify their protest if their demands are not met within four days.
“This is the first phase of our strike and we will expand it if our demands go unnoticed,” G-B Professors and Lecturers Association President professor Muhammad Zaman told The Express Tribune.
Teachers attended classes, but wore black bands on their arms in protest. The ‘strike’ was simultaneously observed across all government colleges in the region. Zaman added they will boycott work duties in the second phase.
Last week, Professor Rubina, the principal of a women college in Skardu, was suspended along with seven male teachers ‘for inciting students to protests against the government’ last month. The teachers included professor Mir Ahmad Khan, associate professor Hashmat Ilhami and assistant professor Hasan Shad among others.
Zaman claimed the Skardu administration forcefully tried to vacate official residences of principals of women and boys degree colleges on August 27. Though the professors did not leave their homes, the action provoked teachers and students to take to the streets.
“Charges against the professors were leveled by the Skardu administration after they boycotted classes on a call from the professors and teachers association against trying to evict the principals,” said Zaman. He, however, denied inciting students to protest.
Zaman maintained the association took up the case with the chief secretary and secretary of education and also showed them evidence, but to no avail.
“It was an insult to the profession of teaching,” he added, referring to the attempt of the police to vacate official residences. “Government teachers have also assured us of their support if our demands are not met within the stipulated time