The authorities have today released the salaries of around 600 school teachers in Jammu and Kashmir who were not paid since 2019. The development comes almost after a week after a Kashmir student died by suicide drawing attention to the teachers' plight.
The teachers have blamed a former Director of School Education for non-payment of salaries.
"We have released Rs 33 crore for disbursement of pending salary of all the 603 teachers," said Tassaduq Mir, Director School Education.
The salaries of 140 of those teachers was withheld pending verifications over their alleged past links with separatism, a senior official said.
Mr Mir said the salaries of many others were withheld due to some procedural issues and incomplete documentation.
On Saturday last, Shoib Bashir, the son of a government school teacher, was pushed over the edge by his failure to pay the fees for his MA course in psychology.
"The only reason behind my suicide is non-payment of salary to my father for last over two years. It has made our life pathetic beyond words," Shoaib Bashir is heard saying in the video.
His father, Bashir Ahmad Mir, was not paid since March 2019. The authorities had blocked his salary citing a police verification report.
The 51-year-old Mir was arrested in 1990s on allegation that he had joined militancy. A local court later acquitted him of all charges. The CID verification report accessed by NDTV contains no adverse remarks against Mr Mir. The report concludes that "he is presently silent and busy with his job".
But Mr Mir said that despite no adverse report from the CID, the former director of education stopped his salary which ultimately led to the suicide of his son.
Mr Mir told NDTV that his son was a sensitive person and "felt troubled that his father was unable to pay for his education despite being a teacher".