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Peshawar police baton-charge teachers protesting against reduction in allowances

PESHAWAR: Police have resorted baton-charged, tear-gassed to disperse the Peshawar government teachers protesting against reduction in allowances, in front of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday.

According to sources, Police arrested dozens of protesters as they were trying to march towards the KP assembly. The protestors were all teachers of the University of Peshawar and they had gathered on Khyber Road in the morning and blocked it.

The protesting teachers demanded the government revokes the decision to deduct their allowance pointing out that their livelihoods were at stake. Demonstrators said that they have already suffered a lot because of the coronavirus lockdown and now this.

They demanded that the government should take back its decision to increase university fees as well. “In these tough times when the government should be facilitating us, they are instead increasing our problems,” another teacher said.

Meanwhile, KP government spokesperson Kamran Bangash said “some elements were wrongly attributing” the protests to policies of the provincial government. Instead, the situation was created due to “bad decisions” taken by university administrations and lack of responsibility by the HEC, he claimed.

“KP govt, despite meager resources, has come to the rescue of Universities in the past, is doing, & will continue in the future but Universities are required to put their house in order. If reforms aimed at financial discipline aren’t implemented, the situation will be hard to sustain,” he tweeted.

On the other hand, Peshawar SSP Yasir Khan Afridi talking to the media said that citizens had the right to a peaceful protest and police do not take action if the protest is peaceful and limited to a side of the road.

Afridi said, “If the protest inconveniences people, then the law will come into action. The educated protesters had blocked the road. Routes leading to hospitals were closed, causing trouble for people,” the police officials added.