Srinagar: A teacher couple working at a private school in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district were sacked on their wedding day after the school management claimed their "romance could adversely affect the students". Tariq Bhat and Sumaya Bashir, residents of Tral town in Pulwama, were employed at Pampore Muslim Educational Institute for the past several years. They alleged their services were abruptly terminated by the school management on November 30, the day they got married.
While the principal did not respond to calls for a comment on the sacking, chairman of the school Bashir Masoodi said the duo were relieved from their services 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 200 staff members working there. This can adversely affect the students," Mr Masoodi told PTI.
The couple, however, claimed that 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 as Sumaya hosted a party for the staff members soon after the engagement ceremony," Mr Bhat said.
He questioned the school management's claim of "romantic relationship", asking 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?" Mr Bhat asked.
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," the couple said.