Sringar: In an unprecedented move, the J&K Government has sacked several employees who were accused by the J&K police’s intelligence wing—the Criminal Investigation Department—of spearheading or participating in protests during the ongoing pro-freedom uprising in Kashmir.
Authoritative sources disclosed to Greater Kashmir that acting on the directions of the State Government, the administrative heads of several departments last evening issued termination orders to several employees for “not only questioning the sovereignty and integrity of India but also violating the rules governing conduct of employees in the State.”
Sources said the Government has identified 12 employees who will be shown door for participating or leading the anti-India protests triggered by the killing of Hibzul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in southern Kokernag village on July 8.
The Government acted against the employees even without holding the mandatory inquiry into the charges leveled against them. However, it defended the same, saying such an exercise was not possible “keeping in view the charged atmosphere and threat perception to witnesses.”
According to sources, employees of several departments have been dismissed from services after Government used the “shortest possible route” to show them the door.
While top bureaucrats are tightlipped over the government’s action, sources in know-how of the development revealed that Chief Secretary B R Sharma chaired a high-level meeting at the Civil Secretariat here on October 17 to decide on sacking the employees accused by police of fueling protests in Kashmir.
In a follow-up to the meeting, administrative heads of several departments, through a written communique regarding the October 17 meeting, were directed to immediately terminate these employees.
Acting swiftly and silently, the administrative secretaries on Tuesday evening issued termination orders to these employees.
According to sources, the Government has claimed in the termination orders that the acts of these employees “are not only aimed at questioning sovereignty and integrity of India but also violate Rule 14 and 20 of the J&K Government Employees Conduct Rules 1971”.
“Their continuation in service will not only set a bad precedent but would tantamount to putting a premium on indulging in misconduct, subversion and anti-national activities,” the dismissal orders read.
Justifying swift action against them, the Government has said: “Any delay in proceeding will provide them an opportunity to carry out their anti-national activities which can endanger the sovereignty and security of the State.”
On its decision to not hold any inquiry against them, the administrative heads have asserted that it was not practicable (sic) to conduct the exercise in the given circumstances.
“…In the prevailing situation and keeping in view the charged atmosphere including threat perception to witnesses, it would not be feasible for the witnesses to depose in case of inquiry,” the Government has claimed.
According to sources, the J&K Government had earlier prepared a list of 36 employees who, as per police, were at forefront of protests.
Of these, 20 are from Education Department, three from Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution department, two each from Revenue, Agriculture and Public Health Engineering Departments and, one each from Rural Development Department, Animal Husbandry, Accounts and Treasuries, Fisheries, Forest, Health and Fire and Emergency Services departments.
Asked whether the Government has terminated employees for participating in the ongoing agitation, Chief Secretary BR Sharma said he has no idea about it. “I have no idea,” he said.
Principal Secretary, Home department, R K Goyal did not respond to repeated calls from this reporter.
Commissioner/Secretary, School Education Shaleen Kabra said the Home department is dealing with the matter.
“You should check it from Home department,” he said.
Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Choudhary Zulfikar Ali however confirmed that one employee of his department has been terminated.
“An assistant storekeeper of Shopain has been terminated,” he said.
Sources, however, confirmed that School Education, Revenue, CAPD and PHE have issued termination orders to the employees identified by the Government.
Officials said this is the third time since ‘80s when Government employees have been terminated in Kashmir for anti-India “leanings”.
Earlier, such actions were initiated against “rebel” employees in 1986 and 90.