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Four Punjab teachers arrested during protest near Bani Gala

  • Four teachers from Punjab’s secondary schools arrested
  • Demonstrators demand permanent employment for 11,000 teachers
  • Islamabad DC offers talks which teachers refuse, vowing to continue sit-in till demands are met
  • Traffic to Murree and to and from Azad Kashmir affected

Four teachers from Punjab, contractually employed in secondary schools, were arrested on Saturday during a protest near Bani Gala in Islamabad demanding permanent employment.

As the demonstrators sought to go further inside the Bani Gala area, they were arrested by police just around the corner.

According to police sources, the teachers were detained for “interfering” in the discharge of duties by government officials and for violating coronavirus safety protocols.

Teachers were repeatedly told that arrests would be made in case of protests, district administration sources said.

A heavy contingent of police was then placed in the area, who also drove back the angry protesters with heavy tear gas shelling.

All roads leading to the prime minister’s Bani Gala residence have been blocked.

A Geo News correspondent, reporting from the scene, said that traffic has been badly affected with cars enroute to Murree forced to come to a standstill and the movement of vehicles to and from Azad Kashmir hampered.

What are the teachers demanding?

The teachers demand that 11,000 of them hired on contract be made permanent.

They said their protest will continue until this demand is met.

Teachers refuse to hold talks

As the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat arrived to hold talks with the group, protesters said they refuse to hold talks with any officer from the district administration.

“Protesters have been told that this is not a federal issue but a Punjab issue,” the Islamabad DC said.

“We hold teachers in high regard and want talks with them,” Shafqaat added.

He said that while holding a demonstration is the right of every citizen, it is inappropriate to block the road and inconvenience others.

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