Teacher called militant for his beard by officer in J-K, SDM seeks explanation

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Sub-District Magistrate Surankote Poonch has sought an explanation from a Zonal Education Planning Officer (ZEPO) after “viral video” on social media in which she is seen using “derogatory language” during visit to a school besides entering a mosque adjacent to the educational institution without removing shoes.

The ZEPO, Kamlesh Kumari, has been asked by the SDM, Saleem Ahmad (KAS), to submit her explanation within two days.

The SDM has also forwarded the copies of the explanation letter issued on 2 April  for information to Deputy Commissioner Poonch, SSP Poonch, Director School Education Jammu besides CEO Poonch and ZEO Surankote.

“A video is viral on social media in which you are seen using derogatory language during visit of Yaseen Public School, Dundhak (Khanikhodi) on 1 April ,” reads the explanation letter, a copy of which has been seen by GNS.

“A deliberate and malicious act , intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religious beliefs is not expected from a government officer/ public servant,” the letter reads, adding, “You are seen uttering, using words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the feelings of a particular person.”
As can be seen in the video, Kumari while referring to a teacher having beard calls him a “big militant.”

“This action on your part has caused public mischief and enmity, hatred and ill-will in the public at large,” the letter further reads, adding, “It is also viral on social media that during your visit to Yaseen Public School, Dundhak (Khanikhodi) on 01/04/2021, you also entered in the Mosque without removing your shoes.”

The SDM in the letter says that ZEPO also forced the Head of Institution to open a specific room of school whose keys were lying at Poonch at the headquarters of the School.

“During your visit you were not wearing face mask and avoided Covid-19 SOPS,” the letter reads further, adding, “you have harassed the school management on the pretext of Inspection and used very harsh and derogatory language against a particular person of school management which has caused a hatred and unrest in the society.”

Keeping in view the above facts, the SDM directed the ZEPO to explain her position within two days “as to why disciplinary action may not be recommended against you to the competent authority.”

In case of non-receipt of reply within two days, the SDM says that it shall be presumed that she has nothing to say in her defense and “action under rule shall be recommended to the competent authority.” (GNS)

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