Batons, water canons used on protesting teachers in Karachi

Policemen arrest a protestor following a clash between activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party and police officials in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi

Karachi, ┬áPolice used batons and water canons on teachers holding a protest at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday as they attempted to move towards the Chief Minister’s House.

The teachers, mostly headmasters and headmistresses, were protesting for not being hired on a permanent basis despite passing the qualifying Educational Testing Service (ETS).

A large number of protesters gathered outside the KPC on Sunday morning. When they didn’t get the official response they wanted, they decided to move towards the CM House and get the attention of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

However, the waiting police rained batons on them, and also used water cannons, and in some cases resorted to tear gas shelling, to stop them from proceeding. One teacher was injured after the water cannon blast hit his back and he fell to the ground, badly knocking his head in the process.

The teachers are demanding the Sindh government accept their demands or else they will stage a 10-day protest at the KPC. This issue has been recurring since 2017.

Later, the negotiating committee of the contract teachers announced calling off of the protest till Monday in order to hold dialogue with the secretary education, ARY News reported.

Talking to journalists, Akhtar Jabbar, head of the committee, said that they would announce their future strategy after meeting with the secretary education.

Earlier this year, in March, police had targeted another group of protesting teachers with batons and tear gas after they attempted to move towards the CM house from the KPC. At that time, they were demanding basic employee rights, including promotion and group insurance.