Anantnag: An Additional Magistrate in Anantnag district has issued a show-cause notice to a Naib Tehsildar posted in Khiram area of the district, for stamping “highway travel passes” on hands of people. The Additional Magistrate has called the action “unbecoming of a Magistrate” in the notice issued to the Naib Tehsildar. The notice, a copy of which lies with Kashmir Reader, was issued on April 10 hours after a commuter posted the picture of his stamped hand on Facebook.
The picture created quite a ripple over social media as people condemned the action, calling it “inhuman” and “occupational”. The action was condemned not just in Kashmir but outside the state as well. The government is already under severe criticism for banning traffic on the national highway (NH-44) to make way for armed forces’ convoys twice a week – on Sundays and Wednesdays. The state government and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have stood their ground despite the criticism and the backlash. However, several “corrective measures” have been taken, one of which was posting civil officials along the highway. The officials were posted to attend to any emergency or “unforeseen eventuality” so that the people “won’t suffer”.
The official in question here, Naib Tehsildar Khiram, Ghulam Mohiuddin, had been directed to duty at Tulkhan near Bijbehara in Anantnag district, vide order number DCA/PA/2019, 73 dated April 6. “Mohiuddin was the one who had stamped that permission, the picture of which went viral over social media,” a source at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Anantnag said. Following the development, a notice dated April 10 was issued against Mohiuddin asking him to explain his position.
“It has come to the notice of the undersigned that you are issuing passes of the travellers along the NH by putting stamps/signatures on their hands, which is against the rules and unbecoming of a magistrate,” the notice reads. The notice directs the Naib Tehsildar to explain his position and also why action under law should not be taken against him. “Failing which (to explain) it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in your defence,” the notice reads.