Gazetted officers, Police officials in the ‘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: 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 a Deputy Chief Education Officer, a Block Development Officer and two Lecturers of Higher Education 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 full mind and thereafter taken such decision”, the PDP leaders, interviewed by media, said invariably.
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 basis of “political vendetta”. They also pointed 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 leaders 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.
Meanwhile, J&K Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) President Abdul Qayoom Wani threatened, in conversation with media on Thursday, that the association of the state government employees would launch a strike if the Government chose not to revoke the termination orders.