Kashmir: School sacks couple on wedding day, “romantic relationship” becomes the reason

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Srinagar

Social media Thursday was all over with the news of wedding day sacking of a teacher couple in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. This happened for the first time in this part of the world that a “relation before marriage became the reason for shutting doors on the couple.”

It all started with Tariq Ahmad Bhat and Sumaya Bashir, residents of Tral town in Pulwama working in Boys and Girls wings, respectively, of Muslim Educational Institute (MEI), Pampore for the past many years.

On November 30, the day they entered the wedlock, the couple alleged that they were sacked with the school management claiming their “romance could adversely affect the students”.

Representational Image

Married for a fortnight now, the couple said that their services were abruptly terminated by the school management.

The school management insisted that they were in a “romantic relationship” before getting married and that is the reason the duo were relieved from service as they were in a “romantic relationship before getting married.”

“They were having romance and it is not good for the 2,000 students of the school and staff members working there. This can adversely affect the students,” Chairman of the school Bashir Masoodi was quoted to have said.

Sources in the top management told Kashmir Life that “management arrived at the decision after being deceived by the couple.”

Giving details, on condition of anonymity, he said: “the incident of courtship was reported by the staff of the school and we called the couple to explain their position, but they denied of having any such relation.”

After some time, he said, the “complaints” were again received. “We again called the couple, but they denied.”

Finally, he said when the couple applied for the leave, “the management taking cognizance of being deceived, terminated their services.”

However, the couple refuted the version of management saying they had an arranged marriage.

“Ours was an arranged marriage. We got engaged a few months ago and the entire school management knew about it,” said Tahir and added that “Sumaya hosted a party for the staff members soon after the engagement ceremony and why they did not object then.”

Reacting to the action of the management, Tahir asked: “why they were not given an opportunity to explain if it were the case.”

File image of a couple walks in Kashmir University’s Naseem Bagh in autumn (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

“We both applied for leave to get married almost a month before the wedding day and the school management sanctioned the leave. If we were in a romantic relationship, did they come to know of it only after we announced our wedding plans?” he asked.

Terming it as a decent and legitimate way, the couple alleged the school management was “tarnishing” their image.

“We have got married which is the right thing to do from whichever perspective one looks at it. We have not sinned or committed a crime,” they said.

Reacting to the development, there were strong reactions on the social media.

Altaf Wani, an avid Facebook user told Kashmir Life that “even if the couple were guilty of anything, the school should have at least not terminated the services of both” and updated his status “This is brutal. I strongly object to the action of the school management.”

Professor in the Institute of Management, Public Administration & Rural Development, Dr Khurshid ul Islam reacted to the news saying “a wrong step by school administration to a right action by the couple. Unfortunate.”

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