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GOI should focus on saving lives instead of firing employees on flimsy grounds: Mehbooba

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Asserting that in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, centre should focus on saving lives instead of firing government employees on flimsy grounds in Kashmir, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said ‘no wonder its misplaced priorities have converted India into graveyards’.

Ms Mehbooba, who is the President of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), further alleged that the living continue to suffer and the dead are deprived of dignity.

The former chief minister was responding to a recent order in which a government teacher was fired from his services in north Kashmir district of Kupwara without holding any inquiry ‘in the interest of the security of the state’.

“In the middle of a pandemic GOI should focus on saving lives instead of firing govt employees on flimsy grounds in Kashmir. No wonder its misplaced priorities have converted India into shamshanghats & kabristans.The living continue to suffer & the dead are deprived of dignity,” Ms Mehbooba wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.

The termination of the government teacher has attracted huge criticism from civil society and political leaders and Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC).

Ms Mehbooba also tweeted the General Administration Department (GAD) order which read, “The Lieutenant Governor is satisfied under sub-clause (c) of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 311 of the Constitution of India that in the interest of the security of the State, it is not expedient to hold an enquiry in the case of Idrees Jan, Teacher, Government Middle School, Kralpora, Kupwara.”

The order further said that Lt Governor after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and on the basis of the information available that the activities of Mr Jan are such as to warrant his dismissal from service.

Official sources said that Mr Jan was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) in 2016. However, they said that he was released and reinstated as a teacher after J&K High Court (HC) quashed his detention under PSA.

Several politicians, including Apni Party (AP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari and senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, besides others have appealed to the Lt Governor to terminate the dismissal order.

The J&K government on April 21 constituted a Special Task Force (STF) to identify and scrutinize the government employees, and lodge cases against those who pose a threat to the country’s security or are involved in ‘anti-national activities’.

The STF under the chairmanship of Additional Director-General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been scrutinizing the cases of employees suspected of being involved in activities requiring action under the proviso (C) of Article 311(2) of the Constitution. Under the proviso (C) of Article 311(2), the government is empowered to terminate an employee without recourse to the normal procedure if it is satisfied that his or her retention in public service is prejudicial to the security of the state.

Several political parties, including Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Conference (NC), Peoples Conference, CPI(M) and Apni Party have criticized the government for setting him the STF, describing it ‘draconian’ and ‘arbitrary’.

The STF was asked to compile records of such employees and refer them to the committee constituted last year.

Last year in July, a committee headed by J&K chief secretary and comprising administrative secretary home department, DGP, administrative secretary GAD, additional director-general of police, CID and administrative secretary department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs was set up to scrutinise and recommend cases under the proviso (C) of Article 311(2).


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