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3 govt officials dismissed over alleged anti-state activities in Kashmir

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Mehbooba accuses govt of having misplaced priorities, says GOI should instead focus on saving lives

Srinagar: Three government officials including an assistant professor were dismissed from service over alleged anti-state activities in Jammu and Kashmir, drawing strong criticism from PDP president Mehbooba Mufti who said the government has “misplaced priorities” during the pandemic.

It’s the first such action after the administration formed a committee last month that is empowered to look into allegations of involvement in anti-state activities against government employees and recommend dismissal.

The separate orders against Assistant Professor, Geography, Government Degree College, Women, Udhampur, Abdul Bari Naik, Naib Tehsildar, Pulwama II, Nazir Ahmad Wani and Teacher Government Middle School, Kralpora (Kupwara) Idrees Jan, were uploaded by the General Administration Department (GAD) on its website on Monday.

According to the identical orders, the dismissal of the three officials was directed by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on April 30 under sub-clause (c) of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 311 of the Constitution and stated that it is not expedient to hold an inquiry in these cases.

The orders said the Lt Governor is satisfied after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and on the basis of the information available that the activities of Naik, Wani and Jan are such as to warrant their dismissal from service.

The orders said 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 their cases.

Officials said the three officials were named in separate FIRs and also underwent detention.

Naik, a resident of Kulgam, was arrested in March from his rented accommodation in Udhampur, where he was posted about a fortnight back, in connection with four pending cases about “radicalisation of youth” in his south Kashmir home town, the officials said.

Similarly, they said two FIRs are registered against Jan, a resident of north Kashmir Kupwara district, in police station Kralpora for allegedly inciting people to violence in 2010 and 2016. He had also undergone four months of detention under Public Safety Act.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti reacted sharply to the sacking of the government employees.

“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,” the former chief minister tweeted.

J&K Apni Party President and former minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also termed the expulsion as an unfortunate and avoidable decision that has deprived a poor family of its livelihood in highly pressing times.

It seems that some elements within the system have misled the Lt Governor on such a sensitive subject which has fuelled the level of insecurity and alienation among the people especially the employees working in the government sector.

It is ironical that the accused teacher was not provided any opportunity to speak or defend himself against the charges leveled against him, Bukhari said in a statement reacting to the dismissal of Jan, and appealed to the LG to revisit his decision.

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