STATE TIMES EXCLUSIVE
Govt mulling to terminate services of 180 officials involved in current turmoil
CM’s own district Anantnag, Naeem Akhtar’s Education department identified as ‘havens of stone pelters’; 7 gazetted officers, 5 cops of Budgam Police to face action in first phase
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, September 25: Jammu and Kashmir Police, in coordination with the Central intelligence agencies, have established that the State government employees, including some officials of the union government’s BSNL and Project Beacon, are the key mobilisers and contributors of the unceasing street turbulence triggered by the Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s death in an encounter in Kokernag area of South Kashmir on July 8 this year. The violence has claimed 88 lives, and left thousands injured, in the last 80 days.
STATE TIMES learned from highly placed authoritative sources that both, J&K Police as well as the Central agencies through Union Ministry of Home Affairs, have brought it to the notice of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that the government employees were playing a key role in mobilisation of demonstrations and violent attacks on Police and security forces in almost all the 10 districts in Kashmir valley.
Following a chain of communications, Chief Minister has directed Chief Secretary B.R. Sharma and Director General of Police K. Rajendra Kumar to verify alleged involvement of 180 listed officials and initiate necessary action — including detention under Public Safety Act (PSA) and termination of services — against the guilty. According to these sources, administrative secretaries, Heads of Departments and District Officers of different Government departments are currently working on the task given by the Chief Minister.
Sources revealed that Additional DG CID, S.M. Sahai, Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Baseer Khan and IGP Kashmir Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gilani were also in the loop. They claimed that over 50 of the identified officials have already been placed under suspension, pending enquiry.
Divisional Commissioner Baseer Khan, however, claimed that he had “no knowledge of such development”. DGP and Additional DG CID were not reachable for their reaction. Asked if the top trade union leader and EJAC President Abdul Qayoom Wani had been detained for precautionary measures or a serious involvement, Mr Khan said that he had been detained for some days in Baramulla “but released later”.
Mr Khan, on direction from the top, has already issued the “no-work-no-pay” circular to all HoDs, asking them to ensure that monthly salary of any Government employees be not released until his Drawing & Disbursing Officer certifies that the official has been present on duty. This has, to a remarkable extent, improved attendance in Government offices in the current month.
Significantly, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s own residential district of Anantnag, that falls in the ruling PDP’s conventional stronghold of South Kashmir, has emerged on top of all the ten districts in identification of the “havens of miscreants and saboteurs”. Of the 180 identified officials picked up for action, 46 are from Anantnag, 26 from Pulwama, 21 from Kupwara, 20 from Ganderbal and 5 from Srinagar.
7 gazetted officers, 5 cops involved
The list includes seven gazetted officers allegedly involved in “mobilisation, encouragement, indoctrination and other support to miscreants”. Most of them are either residents of Anantnag district or posted in that area. They include as Assistant Registrar of the University of Kashmir, a Block Development Officer posted in Mattan area, a Deputy Chief Education Officer, an Accounts Officers of Finance Department, a Lecturer posted at Government Degree College Larnoo, a Lecturer of the Higher Education Department and an Assistant Engineer of PHE Department.
In the first exercise, five Constables of District Police Budgam and a retired Head Constable in Kupwara district have also been identified as “collaborators, coordinators and mobilisers of anti-national demonstrations and stone pelting”. Action has been initiated against them all, sources said.
Interestingly some officials of Project Beacon, functioning under control of union Ministry of Defence, and some employees of the Government of India-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd have also been found involved in the unrelenting turbulence. Sources said that action against them would be initiated separately.
While Mr Naeem Akhtar’s School Education and Higher Education departments have surfaced on the top, sources said that others identified in the list were the employees of Police, Fisheries, Health, Roads & Buildings, Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution, Power Development Department, Agriculture, Finance, Tourism, SICOP, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Srinagar Development Authority and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir.
[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]