Police Files Charges Against Education Officials in Kashmir

Srinagar, Dec 20: In the first instance of its type, police in Indian administered Kashmir have filed charges and registered a case against Education officials of the region for depicting local policeman as “oppressor” in the school text books.

“We have registered a case of sedition, defamation and criminal conspiracy against the Education officials, who were responsible for supervision and publication of a picture in one of the board’s Urdu text books depicting policeman as ‘oppressor’,” a police official said.

The police officials have been angered by an Urdu-language textbook illustrating the word “zalim,” or oppressor, with a drawing of a mustachioed man wearing a cap and uniform and carrying a bamboo club similar to those carried by policeman in Kashmir.

The police official said they have filed charges and case against the Education officials including its chairman. The charges could carry a sentence of 10-year imprisonment. He said police summoned the chairman of Kashmir Education board and he was asked to record his statement.

“We have also so far recorded statements of six Education officials in this regard and further investigations are going on,” he said. “We will investigate the case from all angels as we suspect there may be a section of people who want to bring hatred among the larger section of people against police,” the police official said.

Meanwhile, chairman of Kashmir Education board Sheikh Bashir said it was a graphical mistake and orders have been issued to rectify it at the earliest. “I have already asked the concerned people to rectify the mistake after learning about it. It was a graphical error inadvertently committed by the computer operator,” he said.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.