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Friday, October 21, 2016

Gazetted officers, Police officials in “anti-national list” spared from dismissal

BJP enthusiastic, PDP reluctant to praise Government’s decision; EJAC threatens to launch agitation if dismissal orders not revoked

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Oct 20: Even as it was not immediately clear whether action was being initiated against any senior government employees allegedly involved in the current separatist strike, all the seven gazetted officers besides 6 Police officials in the list of 180 persons have been spared and their services have not been terminated by Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

With the eight administrative Secretaries having issued dismissal orders of 9 junior officials late on Tuesday night, two more employees are likely to be terminated on Friday. Commissioner-Secretary Finance Navin Chowdhary being in New Delhi, dismissal orders of the two employees of Finance Department could not be issued on Wednesday and Thursday. According to the top official sources, Government had approved a list of 11 employees for termination of services in the first phase.

According to these sources, 36 employees have been shortlisted for termination of service out of the 180 government officials who had been found involved in subscribing to the current separatist strike, now running in 15th week.

Significantly, all the seven gazetted officers, mostly residents of Anantnag district and posted in South Kashmir, have been spared. They include an Assistant Registrar of the University of Kashmir, a Block Development Officer posted in Mattan, a Deputy Chief Education Officer lately shifted from Anantnag to Ramban district, 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.

Even as one junior official of Fire and Emergency Services has been dismissed, all the six Police personnel — five of them posted in District Police Budgam — who had been indicted by CID for contributing to the agitation and enforcing the separatist-sponsored shutdown, have also been left out by the State Home Department.

Some official sources insist that the politicians of one ruling party besides senior officers and bureaucrats have intervened to rescue over 150 of the “anti-national” government employees.

While as most of the BJP leaders, including Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, owned and appreciated the Jammu and Kashmir Government’s decision —unprecedented in the last 21 years —the coalition partner PDP looked somewhat reluctant to speak in the same tone and tenor. “Government officers and bureaucrats are expected to have applied their mind and thereafter taken such decision”, PDP leaders invariably told the journalists.

On the other hand, all the key Opposition parties were highly critical of the Government decision. Many of them urged the Government to be “magnanimous” and revoke the dismissal orders. Some of them even questioned the Government’s intentions and alleged that the dismissals had been done on the basis of “political vendetta”. They also pointed out that no departmental enquiry had been ordered and no opportunity had been provided to the accused before terminating their services.

Government itself chose to remain mute. No official release, clarification or reaction was issued to the statements from the mainstream and separatist opposition parties or trade union leaders. Privately, bureaucratic sources told STATE TIMES that no departmental enquiry was required as the action had been ordered under section 126-B of Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. They contended that the competent authority under law was “empowered to dismiss or remove a person or reduce him in rank” if he was satisfied that for some reason, to be recorded by that authority in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to hold such enquiry.

“Whereas, on perusal of the dossier and other related documents, it transpires that the subject has been found involved in anti-national activities which include taking active part in causing disturbance and disorder to the public peace, intimidation to general public/ shopkeepers to observe shutdown amid calls given by separatists and instigating the youth to indulge in stone pelting…” reads an order issued by Commissioner-Secretary Revenue Mohammad Ashraf Mir to terminate the services of one Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan, Patwari Halqa Laram Ganjipora in Anantnag.

Meanwhile, J&K Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) President Abdul Qayoom Wani dismissed the termination orders as dictatorial and threatened, in conversation with media, that the association of the state government employees would launch a strike if the Government chose not to revoke the termination orders.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

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