13 teachers detained in Kashmir for allegedly glorifying militancy

SRINAGAR, JUL 17: The Jammu and Kashmir police recently detained 13 teachers of a private school in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town for allegedly glorifying militancy and motivating students to become future militants, according to officials with knowledge of the case. Eleven teachers were released after stern warning and intervention from senior citizens. Last week, a video on social media showed how dozens of students of a private school in uniforms appeared to be ‘acting as militants’, said a police official linked to investigations in the case. The video was similar to those regularly released by militants to ‘showcase their achievements’ and lure the youth toward militancy, he said on condition of anonymity. The video was shot when the students were on a school excursion, the officer added. In the video that has gone viral on social media, the students are being apparently encouraged by some teachers to perform and act as militants while other boys are playing songs eulogising the death of militants. The songs have been previously used by militants in propaganda videos, the police official said. In another video, two students can be seen posing with sticks as if they were guns. Though these are only mock-ups, another police official said the videos could easily “brainwash” young boys and drive them to militancy. The police took serious note of the incident and detained all the teachers of the school after the video emerged. Chief education officer, Baramulla, Abdul Ahad Gania said he will get the matter investigated. “We are investigating the case and stern action will be taken against the school.” The school management, however, refused to comment on the matter. “This shows how some teachers with vested interests whose mandate is to turn young boys into disciplined students and good citizens are encouraging them to take up guns,” said a police officer investigating the case in Baramulla. A police officer said, who did not wish to be named, said the parents of the children in the video wanted the administration to intervene. He said that two teachers are still in custody, as the police have recovered objectionable material from them. One of these teachers could have made the videos, he said. Senior superintendent of police, Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain refused to comment on the matter. “We will brief the media shortly,” he said.