In a video that went viral earlier this week, a Christian teacher Ishrat Saba of Government Elementary School (Chak-43) Kacha Pakka, Phool Nagar area of Kasur accused headmaster Zaheer Abbas of sexual harassment and demanded her transfer from the school. Ishrat accused the headmaster of uttering lewd remarks and sexual harassment. Several Christian rights organisations have been vocal about the issue and demand probe into the matter and subsequent punishments for those involved. تم مسیحی ہواسلئے تم چوڑی ہو! پھولنگر چک نمبر43کچاپکا گورنمنٹ ایلیمنٹری مڈل سکول کی مسیحی ٹیچرمس عشرت صباکوسکول کاہیڈ ماسٹرجنسی ہراساں کرنےلگا۔ہیڈ ماسٹرکانشئی بھائ نے پستول دکھاکرغلیظ گالیاں دیں۔CJ,PM& پنجابCMسےگزارش ہےاسکانوٹس لےکرمتاثرہ خاندان کوانصاف فراہم کیاجاۓ۔1/2 pic.twitter.com/S2fG4mVR1U — Sadaf Khan Nawaid (@sadafnawaid) November 13, 2018 Daily Times‘ scribe initiated an investigation into the case soon after the video surfaced. The versions of Ishrat Saba, headmaster Zaheer Abbas, Kasur SHO Sara-e-Mughal Zulfiqar Hameed and Kasur CEO Education Naheed Wasif were recorded which have been quoted below. ‘He has been sexually harassing me for the last 4 months’: Ishrat Saba Ishrat Saba accused the school headmaster of harassing her “for the last four months.” She said: “He called me in office to task me an assignment but soon after, started to show me sexual content. I struck him with a register and fled his office. Later, I told the higher authorities but before the investigation process could start, the headmaster sought an apology.” This, Ishrat added, infuriated the headmaster and his brother Javed Abbas. The two used derogatory and insulting remarks against her. “The headmaster started mocking me and my religion. He indulged me into religious debates so I filed an application to the CEO Education for inquiry against him on this matter but no inquiry was conducted. Then, the headmaster’s brother Javed Abbas entered into the school one day and called me “Chorhi” (a derogatory word used against Christians in the sub-continent).” She claimed that the Javed Abbas went as far as trying to kill her before Christian rights organisations intervened. “He wanted to kill me and my friend teachers at school. The matter was brought into the notice of the Christian rights organizations, various websites and on their call, Punjab’s Minister for Human Rights, Ejaz Alam Augustine (a Christian himself) directed DPO Kasur Dr Shehzad Asif to register an FIR. On November 9, an FIR number 364/18 was launched invoking sections 506/B (serious threat) and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions).” Zaheer denies accusations, says Ishrat’s appointment was unmerited and she was levelling false allegations to have him transferred Zaheer Abbas also talked to the Daily Times. He said: “I don’t want to indulge myself into any media debate on the issue as it will harm my respect as a teacher but for the sake of truth, I want to say that I have done nothing wrong to her. As far as the charges of sexual harassment are concerned, I am on oath that no such event ever took place in my school.” Abbas said that the ex-headmaster had disciplinary issues and that himself and teachers, including Ishrat Saba, were habitual of not fulfilling their duties honestly. Now that he has introduced strict measures, Saba was levelling false accusations against him to have him transferred, he said. “Before my appointment, Zafar Iqbal EST Grade-15 (another teacher of this school) and a few other teachers were habitual of coming late to school and then marking fake timings in the register. Zafar’s home is opposite to school. He used to come to school for an hour and then after a period would leave the school to go back home and spend 2-3 hours running his private business there until the bell rang for half-time.” “I stopped this malpractice and ordered to lock the gates during school timings so no one leaves or that no one enters the premises after scheduled time. Ishrat Saba comes from Phool Nagar, a place 24 KM away from the school. So, she normally comes late at school and finds the door locked. Ishrat Saba was appointed as a contract employee on this post only when she produced a fake UC certificate of Chak-43 to get additional 12 merit marks (hometown preference) while her home is not situated here.” He continued that Saba’s appointment was unmerited and she got the job by ‘violating rights of the locals of Phool-Nagar’ and added that she had occasionally asked the headmaster to grant her leave on medical basis. “She got a government job by violating the rights of the locals of this area. She continued asking me to release her from school on medical and other grounds which I did not approve. So, already disturbed by my presence here, a few teachers have used her against me and clubbed to stage this drama against me and became complainants themselves to launch an FIR against me.” Denying allegations regarding his brother’s attempt to kill Ishrat, Zaheer said: “My brother came to school but did not meet Ishrat or said anything to her. She is just being used as a pawn to trigger my transfer since I am a hindrance in way of their malpractices.” ‘Use of religion card is dangerous’: SHO Zulfiqar says, adding that a FIR has been launched against Zaheer’s brother SHO Sara-e-Mughal Zulfiqar Hameed said: “I am of the view that a group of teachers from the school is making a departmental and local conflict look like a religious one. This has nothing to do with a Christian and a Muslim but as this fits their purpose, they are doing so. Use of religion card is dangerous.” He added that an exchange of harsh words did occur inside the school premises involving Zaheer’s brother and a few teachers, but Javed Abbas did not ridicule Ishrat’s religion. However, a FIR has been launched against Javed for intrusion. “A fight/exchange of harsh words did take place in school premises but there is nothing religious in it. We have launched an FIR for that, as the headmaster’s brother has no right to come to school and argue with other teachers. The religious link being put in this case is dangerous. This must be condemned. The sad thing is that this is being done by the most educated members of the community.” ‘I take sexual harassment accusations seriously, but Ishrat’s complaint is fake’: Kasur CEO-Education says When reached out for a statement over the matter, Kasur CEO-Education Naheed Wasif told Daily Times that, “as a woman, I am very sensitive to such complaints. Sexual harassment cannot be allowed anywhere and as a woman, I was much more concerned. I myself conducted the inquiry and found that the complaint launched by the teacher Ishrat Saba was totally fake and meant to get her transferred out of that school to her hometown.” “There is no chance that she can get herself transferred lawfully because at the time of appointment she lied and told the department that she was the resident of Chak-43. Now when the government has already hired her as a teacher, she has stirred this malicious campaign against the headmaster to achieve her goals. She has never brought a proof, any mobile text, any WhatsApp or Facebook interaction, any call history to prove that she was sexually harassed.” Naheed said Ishrat has failed to present evidences regarding the case, while witnesses that she has presented already have an agenda against the headmaster. “Her only proof is the teacher Zafar Iqbal and his accomplices who already want the headmaster to be transferred out of the school. The headmaster himself has an excellent track record and the school’s educational environment and performance has improved a lot since his appointment. As a woman, I shall neither ignore sexual harassment nor support gender or religious bias.” It is for you (the reader) to decide and the authorities involved in the investigation, but for now, the case looks fishy. Time will unfold a lot.