Kulgam: In a heartbreaking incident, a 24-year-old youth from Damhal Hanjipora area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district recorded a video of himself before committing suicide.
According to reports, the 24-year-old youth (name withheld) from Avail, Kulgam had consumed some poison at his orchard, after which he was taken to Srinagar Hospital where he lost the battle of life last evening.
As soon as the news of his death came, a video went viral on social media in which he is explaining the reason for his suicide and stated that he committed suicide because his father has not been receiving his salary for the last more than a year.
“I sacrifice my life for all the teachers who have not been paid for the last two years and I can’t tell you how much trouble I’ve had to this day which is why I was forced to take this step today,” he was speaking in a video which he recorded himself.
He further said that “I am giving my life to solve the problem of all the employees including his father who are still not getting their salaries for the last two years.”
In a heartbreaking video, he tells his family that after his departure, his family should be patient as they have been patient to this day.
Police officials said that a case has been registered in this regard under FIR number 41/2021 under sections 309 IPC and further investigations have been taken up.
The incident has brought focus on government teachers who have been deprived of their salaries due to their involvement in militancy in the past. Bashir Ahmad Mir, is a former militant who was given the job of a teacher by the government in 2008, following a nod by intelligence agencies.
However, Chief Education Officer (CEO) Kulgam, Mohammad Ashraf Rather was quoted in reports saying that in March 2019, the administrative department did a verification in which the father of the deceased (Bashir Ahmad Mir) got the adverse report, “owing to that till date his salary has not been released.” Ashraf said that the said teacher is posted at Government Primary School in Avail.
Meanwhile, District President Teachers Forum Kulgam Sheikh Intikhab Aalam said there are 25 teachers in the district who are suffering due to long pending salaries.
Aalam appeals to Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) and LG Manoj Sinha to release the salary of such teachers on humanitarian grounds so that such incidents may not occur in the future.
Expressing shock and grief over the incident, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Sunday demanded a time-bound probe and fixing of responsibility into the incident.
“The youth, who was a son of a government school teacher, was reportedly forced to take an extreme step after his father was denied salary for the past two years. Even if reports of his father being a former militant are true, it should have been verified before he entered into service,” Tarigami said in a statement.
Media reports say that after verification, he was allowed to join the job as part of the government’s rehabilitation policy for former militants. Why are such people and their families being punished for it now? If somebody has shunned the path of violence 20 years back and returned to the mainstream, he should be allowed to live peacefully, the statement said.
There is a need to hold a proper probe into the incident which led to this teacher’s young son to take such a harsh step, he said, adding “I hope JK Lieutenant Governor will order a probe into this incident and bring the officers to book whose lackadaisical approach forced the youth to take his life.”
Such a heartbreaking incident depicts an appalling picture of the families whose salaries have been withheld by the government for no sins of theirs. If there are more such employees whose salaries have been withheld on flimsy grounds, it is imperative upon the government to release it without any further delay, he added.
In a statement issued, Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari termed the incident as extremely disturbing wherein a youth in order to draw the attention of the people at the helms of affairs towards the sufferings of his family has had to give up his life.
“This highly horrible incident depicts an appalling picture of the level of mental stress and trauma of the families whose salaries have been withheld by an apathetic bureaucratic set-up even in the pressing times of Covid-19 pandemic. I hope the incident acts as an eye-opener and a wake-up call for the government,” he said.
He demanded that strict action must be taken against those officials whose impervious attitude resulted in this sad incident. “The youth took his precious life as his father who was a teacher by profession was not paid a salary for the last over a year which had created disastrous circumstances for his entire family. The officers responsible for stopping his salary must be booked for abetment in the suicide case,” Bukhari remarked.
He urged the Lt Governor of J&K to order a thorough probe in this matter on humanitarian grounds and bring the officers to book whose lackadaisical approach forced the youth to sacrifice his life.
Bukhari also demanded that the families of the teachers whose salaries have been withheld due to some frivolous reasons must not be allowed to suffer and the departed should immediately release their salaries before they are forced to resort to such unwarranted actions.
“I appeal the present dispensation to adopt a humanitarian approach and refrain from adding to the already existing alienation among masses. The pandemic has already proven disastrous and has brought economic depravity to the people and the people at the helms should not draw sadistic pleasures of the miseries of the people in such circumstances,” he observed.
Bukhari said that denying salary to government employees for trivial reasons amounts to abuse of human rights as well as the labour laws enshrined in the Indian constitution. “By withholding the salaries you are not only depriving an employee of his fundamental rights including a dignified livelihood but you are also snatching right to life of his family members whose welfare depends on the wages of their bread earner,” Bukhari said.