Tahir Bhat/ Umar Khurshid
Srinagar, Storming the virtual world, a case of the sacking of a teacher couple by a local school in Pampore on the wedding day has landed in the Jammu & Kashmir’s State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), finally.
Taking suo-motto cognizance on a news item of sacking a couple on wedding day because of having a “romantic relationship”, SHRC Chairperson Justice Bilal Nazki Friday, the spokesman said has taken serious note of it and directed the director education Kashmir and Principal Muslim Educational Institute (MEI) Pampore to file report before the commission by Monday, December 18, 2017.
The commission has directed Principal of the institute to be present in person on the said date.
The story has turns and twists.
The sacked couple, Tariq Ahmad Bhat and Sumaya, were both working in the same school and the decision was conveyed to them on their wedding day.
On the day of his marriage, when Tariq, was serving guests, he got a phone call from Principal of the school where he was teaching Mathematics for last many years.
Expecting a congratulatory message, Tariq was told the opposite. “Enjoy your marriage but don’t visit the school again. You have been fired from the job.”
As the news spread, the pall of gloom descended the Arigam Tral, address of both bride and the groom.
Not knowing what to do, Tariq was lost in thoughts of managing both, future and the humiliation.
Somehow he maintained his calm and broke out in the isolation.
This was the day of his life, said a relative, but “unfortunately see what happened.”
Almost a fortnight after their marriage, when they narrated their ordeal to the Press Trust of India, the social media reacted fiercely.
An action probably performed for the first time in the valley that a “relation before marriage became the reason for shutting doors on the couple” had adverse reactions. The school had a reason,” they were in a relationship before marriage.”
However, as per the records, Tariq was working in the boy’s wing and Sumaya was engaged in the girl’s wing.
But on November 30, the day they entered the wedlock, the couple alleged that they were sacked with the school management claiming their “romance could adversely affect the students”.
The school management insisted that they were in a “romantic relationship” before getting married and that is the reason the duo were relieved from service as they were in a “romantic relationship before getting married.”
“They were having romance and it is not good for the 2,000 students of the school and staff members working there. This can adversely affect the students,” Chairman of the school Bashir Masoodi was quoted to have said.
Sources in the top management told Kashmir Life that “management arrived at the decision after being deceived by the couple.”
Giving details, on condition of anonymity, he said: “the incident of courtship was reported by the staff of the school and we called the couple to explain their position, but they denied of having any such relation.”
After some time, he said, the “complaints” were again received. “We again called the couple, but they denied.”
Finally, he said when the couple applied for the leave, “the management taking cognizance of being deceived, terminated their services.”
However, the couple refuted the version of management saying they had an arranged marriage.
“Ours was an arranged marriage. We got engaged a few months ago and the entire school management knew about it,” said Tahir and added that “Sumaya hosted a party for the staff members soon after the engagement ceremony and why they did not object then.”
Reacting to the action of the management, Tariq asked: “why they were not given an opportunity to explain if it were the case.”
“We both applied for leave to get married almost a month before the wedding day and the school management sanctioned the leave. If we were in a romantic relationship, did they come to know of it only after we announced our wedding plans?” he asked.
Terming it as a decent and legitimate way, the couple alleged the school management was “tarnishing” their image.
“We have got married which is the right thing to do from whichever perspective one looks at it. We have not sinned or committed a crime,” they said.
Meanwhile, the government also stepped and has taken up the matter with the school management to rescue the young couple. Reports quoting Minister for education Syed Altaf Bukhari said that the teachers would be retained in the school as they have not committed any wrong. “Director Education has taken up the matter with the school management. By now the issue must have been resolved if there is no other complaint against the couple except for what was reported in the newspapers,” he said and added that “what is wrong even if they loved each other? They performed Nikkah and their wedding was solemnised by their parents,” Bukhari said.