The Bold Voice of J&K

Package employees agitating for survival

54

Omkar Dattatray

The hapless Prime Minister Package employees are agitating from last about two months not for anything unattainable, but they are demanding and begging for their survival and safety. The government is turning a blind eye to their genuine demand for safety of their life, limb and dignity & basic and only demand of their relocation outside Kashmir. There unfortunate sons of mother India are not demanding something anti-national and utopian things but are only demanding their safety and survival. The right to life is guaranteed under article-21 of the Indian constitution and they are asking and appealing for the fulfillment of this constitutional guarantee and the insensitive NDA government of centre and the LG’s administration of the UT are not paying any heed to the agitating package employees who are on continuous strike in the scorching heat but the government seems unconcerned to the genuine demand of their survival which is possible only when they are relocated in safe Jammu division otherwise not. Therefore the government should come to the rescue of the agitating package employees and accept their only and genuine demand of relocation outside the valley so that they and their families are saved from the bullets of the terrorists who are after their lives as testified by the killings of Rahul Bhat, M L Bindroo, Rajni Bala and others. These package employees are not demanding sun, moon and stars which cannot be given being impractical and unattainable but they are simply demanding the safety of their life and of their family as well. Therefore the government should accept their only and genuine demand of relocation to Jammu division till the Kashmir limps back to complete normalcy. The BJP government of centre should come down from their ego and shun its rigid attitude and accept the only and genuine demand of the relocation of the package employees so that their life and dignity is saved. The government is constitutionally duty bound to accept the demand of survival and safety of their lives which can be possible if these unfortunate employees are relocated and attached to the office of Relief & Rehabilitation Commissioner Migrants Jammu. The package employees are holding supernumerary posts and the temporary adjustment even in the government offices and schools of Jammu division will not affect the service conditions and promotional prospects of the Jammu employees as the salary of the package employees is debited to centre expenditure. So, adjustment of the package employees in Jammu has no adverse bearing on the employees of Jammu and thus adjustment of the package employees is not a problematic issue and so the government should accede to the genuine and only demand of their relocation outside the Kashmir so that their life is saved and they enjoy the right to life as guaranteed by the constitution. The Package employees are not agitating for their service matters of promotion and seniority but are only demanding their relocation to Jammu division so that their risk to life is ensured and they are saved from the bullets of the terrorists. The package employees are agitating at both places of Jammu and Kashmir. In Kashmir these employees are protesting for their relocation to Jammu division in the migrant transit camps of Sheikhpora, Vessu, Mattan, Vervan and are also holding peaceful protests in Partap park in Srinagar. The counterparts of the striking package employees are protesting at the office of Relief commissioner Jammu and at times they are protesting at press club of Jammu to attract the attention of the indifferent government which seems in no mood to accept their only demand of relocation to Jammu division. The NDA government is under false and fake impression that the PM employment package is part and parcel of the rehabilitation policy of the government, while the fact and reality is that the employment package of the Pandit youth is not a part of rehabilitation as it is purely an economic package to absorb the unemployed youth of the uprooted Kashmiri Pandits in government jobs and to give some succor to the unemployed youth of the displaced community. Thus, PM employment package should not and cannot be clubbed with the return and rehabilitation policy, rehabilitation of the uprooted Kashmiri Pandits is a comprehensive policy and its scope is wide while the Special employment PM employment package is an economic package to absorb the unemployed youth of the displaced youth of Pandit community in government jobs. Thus the government should not view the relocation of the package employees as a failure of the return and rehabilitation policy. The powers that be should be magnanimous and should accede to the genuine and the only demand of the relocation of the package employees so that their life is saved from the terrorists who are after their precious lives. Thus the government should not be under the misconception that by acceeding the demand of the relocation of the package employees and by shifting these hapless employees to Jammu division, it will be a failure of the return and rehabilitation policy. Therefore, the centre government and the LG administration should show broadmindedness and order the shifting and relocation of the package employees from Kashmir so that their life and honor is saved. No bats will appear at noon if the package employees are shifted to Jammu division and thus the relocation of the package employees should not be made a prestige issue by the government but the reluctant NDA government should accede to the genuine demand of their relocation temporary to Jammu division till the complete normalcy is restored in Kashmir. When the NDA government led by the BJP has abrogated the controversial article-370 of the constitution and made the unattainable possible, then why is the same government shying away from relocating the package employees to Jammu division? The package employees are not making impractical demands but are only asking and appealing for their survival and the government should accept their demand of relocation at the earliest to save them from the terrorists who are after their lives. The package employees are asked to sign a bond and enter into an agreement with the government at the time of their appointment to the effect that they will not claim for their transfer for the entire service carrier. This signing of the bond and agreement is unconstitutional and unlawful as well as void and therefore deserves to be rescinded retrospectively to give some succor to the package employees. The package employees have not violated the bond but it is the government which has violated the conditions and terms of the bond by failing to provide government accommodation to the package employees. Majority of the package employees are living in the private rented accommodation and it is not possible for the government to provide fool proof security to the package employees living in private rented accommodation. The government should provide accommodation to all the package employees so that they can live and perform their duties without any fear. Till the accommodation is provided to all the package employees working in Kashmir and till complete normalcy is restored in the valley the package employees should be relocated to Jammu division so that their life, limb and dignity is saved. In short, it can be said with certainty that the package employees should be relocated to Jammu division till normalcy is restored back in Kashmir and till the ground situation is made conducive for their living and working.

(The author is a columnist and social activist).

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