Official ‘threatened’ with transfer to remote place

Moazum Mohammad

Srinagar: At the behest of a senior PDP leader, an official was threatened with transfer to a remote place for implementing a government order banning engagement of casual labourers in government departments and autonomous bodies.
On March 17, government ordered an end to engagement of casual/seasonal labourers, saying such temporary jobs put pressure on the exchequer.
Executive officer municipal committee Qazigund Mohammad Ismail tried to execute the same order by seeking attendance of casual staffers, who according to him were appointed “illegally”.
“Since I received an order from finance department saying no casual labourers shall be appointment from now on, I sought the details of all casual staffers so that there pending salaries could be paid and then they could be relieved,” Ismail told Kashmir Reader.
“Sartaj Madni (PDP leader) called me and tried to defend the casual staffers. Already, we are facing financial crunch so much so that even permanent staffers are without salary for past three-months,” he said.
According to Ismail, the casual staff was engaged without seeking approval from official concerned. Many illegally-appointed casual labourers had been disengaged by the Director Urban local bodies.
“I was called to the Director’s office and told I will be transferred to Kupwara district. I am willing to go there but I regret how political interference leads to violation of government orders,” he added.
Director urban local bodies Kashmir Hilal Ahmad Parray denied any knowledge about the issue.
Madni, who lost polls from Devsar constituency, denied the allegations.
“I am against appointment of casual labourers…15-20 casual labourers came to meet me and they weren’t from my constituency. They said their salary is being withheld. They told me that the officer spoke ill against Mufti sahib,” Madni said.
“I called the officer and told him that if it is proven that he said bad things about Mufti sahib I will see to it that… I asked my workers to file RTI applications in municipal committee Devsar to expose illegal appointments of casual labourers,” Madni added.