What led to the arrest of an AKES teacher in Gilgit?
By Ali Ahmad Jan
Gilgit (TP) June 20, 2020: A teacher of the Aga Khan Education Service (AKES) in Gilgit has been arrested on the charge of hurling life-threatening messages to two staff members of the management after his contract with the institution was done away with.
The arrest and handcuffing of Ahmed Khan — a teacher of physics at the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Ghakuch in district Ghizer — has stirred up a hornets’ nest on the social media with antagonists squarely putting the blame on the AKES management, accusing of it meting out excesses to the teacher, who according to them was punished for raising against the alleged excesses of the AKES management, a charge denied by a senior official of the set-up, which has a chain of schools across Gilgit-Baltistan, mostly in Hunza and Ghizer.
Ahmed Khan’s original contract letter
In 2018, the AKES had initially hired the services of Ahmed Khan for a period of three months and extendable for a further six months. However, in the meanwhile, after an internal assessment in 2018, Ahmed Khan was “demoted” and transferred to DJ High School Zoodkhon Hunza — an offer he did not accept and challenged in the court which issued a stay order, barring the AKES management from pressing with the order of his transfer to the school in Hunza.
Ahmed Khan’s posting and transfer order
According to some sources, Ahmed Khan, who used to teach at a DJ school in Darkut Yasin, appeared in a test and qualified for the Higher Secondary School Gahkuch as a physics teacher. In the 2019 examination, according to some sources, his 9th and 10th class students of Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Gahkuch clinched highest marks in the AKU board, a claim which could not be verified independently.
As per some internal assessment reports, available with The Punch, Ahmed Khan has performed fairly better, mostly clinching level A, almost an excellent place in terms of teaching and pedagogy.
According to a senior AKES official, who requested not to be named as he was not allowed to the media, after the court stay order, Ahmed Khan was allowed to continue teaching at the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Gahkuch until his contract period was complete and he was given full salary along with all perks and privileges, during this whole period.
The AKES official said that during the stay order period, Ahmed Khan allegedly sent life-threatening messages to two senior management officials, forcing them to lodge a case against him with the Ghizer police as his employees’ life was under risk. He said that “We scanned threatening messages of the teacher, got it printed and attached with the application lodged with the police and only then the police registered the FIR against him. We have all proofs.”
When asked that the senior management members had been summoned by the court in the said case but they were avoiding, leading to the issuance of bailable warrants against them, he said that their lawyer will appear in the court on June 22 and present everything as part of their version and they were not escaping the court. The AKES official denied the allegation that they have implicated the teacher to avoid the trouble in the court.
When asked why the AKES management did not pursue the FIR, lodged against Ahmed Khan some one-and-a-half-month back, or why the police did not arrest the teacher soon after they had lodged the case, he said that they had reminded the police twice to take action on their application and the police have finally acted. The official denied that anyone in the AKES office used their position or contacts to influence the police to get the teacher in violation of the stay order, as the police had arrested him after a lapse of one-and a-half-month of the lodging of the FIR in violation of CrPC 157, which bounds the police officer to take measures for the arrest of the offender if the crime is of serious nature.
Bailable arrest warrants against AKES officials
The AKES senior official said that according to their policy of 2014, the management can mutually transfer teachers of any Higher Secondary Schools to DJ High Schools, better known as LRS, and vice versa.
The official claimed that Ahmed Khan “had rude behaviour and his conduct was most unbecoming and his teaching method was not satisfactory and he often created a mess with the principal of the school”, a charge vehemently denied by the teacher’s lawyer.
“After the stay order, we allowed the teacher to continue with the classes until the contract was expired and disbursed his salaries and completed all legal procedure as per the law. The said teacher, while assuming his weak position in the court, resorted to threatening calls, which cannot be ignored and we have brought the issue to the notice of the police with all supporting proofs. The police have carried out their obligation and we will prove everything in the court, we have done nothing wrong,” the AKES official said adding that some teachers after failing to showcase their ability, get stay orders and knock the door of the court to blame the prestigious institution. He said that Ahmed Khan is now no more our employee and our contract has ended and we have paid all his salaries.
Ahmed Khan’s lawyer, Karimullah, who shared some documents with The Punch, claimed that his client’s mobile phone was on a charge in school when some unscrupulous elements grabbed his mobile and sent unwarranted messages to the AKES officials to weaken his litigation case in the court.
The lawyer, who also shared copies of the school’s internal assessment of Ahmed Khan with The Punch, alleged that School Principal Jahangir was exacting some personal vengeance with his client after he raised objection to his alleged discriminatory behaviour with the male students of the school.
Another source close to the development claimed that the AKES as an institution was allegedly suppressing sane voices and those who speak up against the alleged wrong policies and their services are terminated, a charge the AKES senior official denied, claiming they were offering a cordial environment to the staff and the students besides offering good perks and privileges for the teachers.
Answering a question about the low salaries of AKES school teachers and lecturers and the brain drain human resource, the AKES official said that they had some budget limitations and they were only an offshoot, offering assistance to the government in the education sector. “It is not bad if our trained teachers join the government sector at a certain stage and offer their services to the larger public and this is exactly according to our policy as the service providers,” he said.
A former official of the AKES while talking to The Punch said that the teacher was standing on a weak mooring after he refused to accept the transfer orders followed by the stay order and finally hurling the threatening messages which warrant legal action. He said that this will further put him in trouble when he applies for a government job as police will issue a negative report on the basis of the FIR. “It is better he patch up with the AKES to save his own future,” he said adding that legally he has committed an offence and there is a proof against him.