By Insha Latief
SRINAGAR: In an unprecedented move, most of the veterinary doctors in the state boycotted the recruitment exam conducted by the Jammu Kashmir Public Service Commission at the JKPSC office in Solina on Monday. In June 2016, the government had announced 24 posts for recruitment of unemployed veterinary doctors. Ashfaq Ahmed, president of the Unemployed Veterinary Doctors’ Association, said, “We are forced to boycott the exams because we are the most ignored lot among the qualified people in J&K.”
Unemployed doctors held up banners and raised slogans against the JKPSC in front of the exam centre, and tore their admit cards.
According to the unemployed veterinary doctors, no new posts have been created since 1980 for them. “There are many posts vacant in the department but they are not filling them. There are two veterinary colleges and people in the livestock department are holding more than one designation,” said Javaid Ahmed, a veterinary doctor.
Terming as “black sheep” those doctors who appeared in the exam, Ashfaq said, “We had called for a boycott but some of us still appeared (in the exam) because they are backed by influential people. They already knew the question papers.”
Doctors alleged that some students were accompanied by their parents who were waiting inside the premises. They said that these students were secretly taken inside the examination centre and some of them were stationed in washrooms and sheds before the exam was scheduled to begin.
Gowhar Majeed, an unemployed vet, said, “I am unemployed since 2007. We hold doctorates and gold medals. Until the authorities fulfil our demands, we will continue our protests.”
According to the doctors’ association, the exam was also boycotted in Jammu.
Doctors said that the government had issued the notification for jobs after almost three years. Sabahat, a veterinary doctor, said, “In colleges they increase the intake of students; why don’t they shut down the colleges if they have no jobs to provide? This exam was conducted in bad weather conditions. People from far- flung areas couldn’t come.”
Many veterinary doctors in the state are either unemployed or do private practice.
The Unemployed Veterinary Doctors’ Association demanded that the exams be considered null and void. “The employment file demanding 420 posts that is still pending since 2007 should be cleared,” the association demanded.
Shakeel-ul-Rehman, official spokesperson of the JKPSC, told Kashmir Reader that the exam was delayed by an hour to convince doctors to appear in the exam, but they refused. “It is not our business to see how many posts the government has issued. We didn’t stop anyone from appearing in the exam. Some students have appeared in the exam,” Rehman said.
Rejecting all the allegations of foul play, he said, “We have CCTV cameras and everything is being monitored. They can say anything but many people have been calling us to say they were intimidated (by the protesting doctors). The DIG, SSP, DSP were there to maintain law and order. The protesting doctors are trying to give vent to their frustration.”
According to JKPSC, of the total 750 candidates who applied for the exam, 25 appeared in the exam in Srinagar.