ULB official facing sexual harassment charges gets prime posting, additional charge

ULB official facing sexual harassment charges gets prime posting, additional charge
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Anantnag: An Executive Officer of the Urban Local Bodies has surprisingly been ‘favoured’ with a prime posting and an additional charge, despite a pending inquiry in a sexual harassment case against him.
Despite serious allegations the official, Ghulam Muhammad Lone, has not only been given a prized posting of Executive Officer, Qazigund but has also been given the additional charge of Municipal Committee, Pampore.
Lone was serving as Executive Officer Ganderbal Municipal Committee in January 2018, when the alleged incident took place.
A woman employee of the Municipal Committee, Ganderbal had alleged that the official had tried to molest her inside his office and demanded sexual favors.
“There were serious allegations of sexual harassment against him. He had to literally run for his life after the family of the victim woman came to attack him,” a police source in Ganderbal told Kashmir Reader.
Following the allegations, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, vide order-number 729 DIVCOM 2018, dated January 17, 2018 attached Lone to the office of Director Urban Local Bodies.
Also, the police in Ganderbal filed an FIR against the official-bearing number 19-2018, under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 342 (wrongful confinement).
However, notwithstanding the pending inquiry, a fresh order was issued and the official was posted as EO Municipal Committee Qazigund.
Subsequently the director Urban Local Bodies issued an order, number DULB-Estt-1565-1274 dated December 21, and bestowed an additional charge of EO Pampore Municipal Committee to Lone.
The development has irked the residents of Pampore, who have strongly condemned Lone’s posting to Pampore.
“An official with such serious allegations against him should not have been given such a prized posting,” President Falah-o-Behbood Committee Pampore, Murwat Hussain, told Kashmir Reader.
He lamented that the womenfolk of the town will hesitate before going to the office of the said official. The Falah-o-Behbood Committee and Samaj Youth Forum of Pampore have also written a joint letter of complaint to Divisional Commissioner to express their displeasure.
Director Urban Local Bodies, Farooq Ahmad Rather, expressed helplessness over the issue.
“I do not issue such orders. These orders come from the civil secretariat,” Rather said.
Ghulam Muhammad Lone, the official in question, told Kashmir Reader that he has been cleared of the charges. Asked to produce proof, he promised to get in touch later, but did not.