Demand probe in cold-blooded murder of lecturer; will move court if salaries stopped
Srinagar: Employees Joint Action Committee, a principal representative body of government employees in Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday asked the administration to desist from compelling them to join duties amidst the ongoing uprising.
EJAC president Abdul Qayoom said the circular issued for the employees to join their duties “is quite contrary to the ground and prevailing situation in the Valley”.
“The government should not issue such circulars and should not target the employees having no fault,” he said.
The divisional commissioner’s office in Kashmir has ordered withholding salary of the employees who do not attend their duties.
Earlier this week, a high-ranking official told Kashmir Reader that the divisional commissioner of Kashmir has issued a circular to all heads of departments to not release salary of employees who skip their duty.
The order has come at a time when the Valley is witnessing an intense anti-India uprising sparked by the killing of militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.
The state has imposed strict curfew to restrict the civilians to homes, while 65 civilians have been killed and hundreds injured in government forces’ response to the protests.
The government offices have remained deserted since the start of the uprising as a result of the shutdowns and the curfews.
To boost the attendance, the government has announced that identity cards would be considered as curfew passes.
But it shall bring little respite to the employees, as government forces are often seen disrespecting even the formal curfew offices issued by the administration to media and essential services people.
Meanwhile, the EJAC president also condemned the killing of a lecturer at Khrew, Pampore, by the Indian army.
A 30-year-old college lecturer of English was, according to locals, beaten to death on Wednesday night in his village of Shar-e-Shali by soldiers of the Indian army’s 50 RR batallion in the area.
He said the “custodial killing is an eye-opener for the conscious citizens with human heart”.
“The killing of innocent citizens shall not be tolerated at any circumstances. An open court enquiry should be conducted to punish the security forces involved in this cold-blooded murder,” he said.
He also condemned the attack on an ambulance driver by the government forces at Safa Kadal on Thursday evening.
President of J&K Civil Secretariat Non-Gazetted Employees Union president Ghulam Rasool Mir was quoted by news agency KNS as saying, “Jaan hai tau jahaan hai (everything else matters only if you are alive).”
“Due to the prevailing situation, it is quite dangerous to life for the employees to reach their offices. While security forces don’t accept either curfew passes or ID proofs, protesters also cannot allow us to move to offices,” Mir said.
He said that when ministers cannot leave their homes, how employees can move out in such a situation.
“Let government stop our salaries, then we will see what legal recourse we can take,” he added.
Manzoor Pampori, vice-president of Employees Joint Action Committee told KNS that the situation is like a double-edged sword for employees—government on one side and protesters on the other.
“Those officials who issued such order are secured in fortified offices while employees have to travel in risky situation,” Pampori said.
“Whole valley is on fire and the government wants the employees to burn in this fire,” Pampori added.
On the government threatening to stop salary of employees, Pampori said the trade unions will “confront” the government on such a move, and will frame a strategy accordingly once “our salary is not released.”
Pampori said that even secretariat employees who live in Srinagar in government quarters could not attend to their duties.
“Only 20 per cent employees in secretariat attend to their duties when they live in Srinagar. How can an employee travel to his office from any other area? Entire valley is under strict curfew. Who can risk his life?” he said.