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Employees protest re-advertising of posts, demand tenure

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Srinagar: Scores of people employed under Rehbar-e-Khel and Rehbar-e-Janglat scheme on Sunday held a protest here demanding revocation of Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to re-advertise the posts they were engaged in.

The government had on Friday re-advertised ‘Rehbar-e-Janglat’, ‘Rehbar-e-Zirat’ and ‘Rehbar-e-Khel’ posts through the Service Selection Board.

It said additional weightage and age relaxation will be given to those already working on these posts.

However, scores of those employed under the schemes descended at the Press Enclave here and held a protest demanding the roll-back of the order.

“We the Rehbar-e-Khel teachers are protesting here because the government has ordered re-advertising the posts we were engaged in. The government has gone back on its own order which had said that our services will be made permanent after seven years,” one of the protesting employees said.

She said they demand the revocation of the order.

“Whatever work they wanted us to do, we did it. We rendered our services even in COVID. Now, they are backstabbing us. We will stay put here and sacrifice our lives if they do not roll-back the order,” said another protestor.

The employees said their services were getting permanent after seven years in August this year, but “unfortunately, two months before that, our services have been terminated and the posts are being re-advertised.”

“We want the revocation of the order, so that justice is done with us and our families,” said a protester.

Political parties react to govt’s order

Various politcal parties of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday took a strong exception to the re-advertisement of Rehbar-e-Janglat, Rehbar-e-Zirat, and Rehbar-e-Khel posts by JKSSB.

In a statement issued here, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference denounced LG administration’s decision of disengaging Rehbar-e-Khel, Zirat, and Janglaat employees, saying “the undemocratic action will further deepen the employment crisis in J&K”.

“The decisions are indeed a grave injustice with thousands of professionally trained youth, who worked on meagre salary just relying on the hope of regularisation after stipulated time frame of five to seven years,” said JKNC State Spokesperson, Imran Nabi Dar.

He said that the scheme was framed by the elected governments keeping in view the alarming rates of unemployment rates in J&K. “Undoing of the decisions taken up by democratically elected governments by a bureaucrat setup is unfair and unjust. Such decisions have no parallel in democracies and nowhere has this happened that a few bureaucrats have usurped a decision duly approved by the state cabinet which ahd the sanction of the people of J&K. What this makeshift administration has done is that it has completely disregarded the decision which had people’s mandate behind it,” he said.

“The decision has raised a big question mark on the entire exercise. Behind the fig leaf of promoting transparency, it seems that the incumbent administration is working on a plan to engage outsiders in J&K and keep the youth of J&K out of such job opportunities. By disengaging these employees at this juncture the administration has put them, their families to undue duress and sufferings,” Imran added.

Meanwhile, expressing serious concern over the decision of the Jammu Kashmir administration to re-advertise Rehbar-e-Janglat, Khel, Zirat posts afresh, CPI(M) leader Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami said that after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked; “the government is yet to create job opportunities. Instead it has announced to re-advertise Rehbar-e-Janglat, Khel, Zirat posts afresh who have been serving the government for years together”.

“These schemes were framed in view of the rising unemployment for technically qualified youth launched by the successive governments. These youth had been appointed on merit basis through proper recruitment procedure. Most of them have now crossed the age limit and are not in a position to compete at this stage with the fresh pass outs in their respective fields,” he said.

In a statement issued here, Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Sunday observed that the “arbitrary order” to re-advertise of Rehbar-e-Janglat, Rehbar-e-Zirat, and Rehbar-e-Khel questions the legitimacy and mandate of the successive elected governments in Jammu and Kashmir.

Reacting to the media reports suggesting that the posts of Rehbar-e-Janglat, Rehbar-e-Zirat and Rehbar-e-Khel would be now abolished, referred to, and re-advertised by Service Selection Board (JKSSB), Bukhari said that such a decision would have serious ramification if not rescinded immediately in the larger public interest.

Meanwhile, J&K Peoples Conference denounced administration’s decision to re-advertise Rehbar-e-Janglat, Rehbar-e-Zirat, and Rehbar-e-Khel posts and termed it absolutely wrong and unjustified.

“We are totally against this decision. Governments are about consistency and continuity. The soul and essence of governments in any democratic setup is a continuous chain of decisions which are carried on by new governments in the interest of the people. If every government is to challenge and undo the actions and decisions of the previous governments then it would certainly be a recipe for disaster,” party spokesperson Adnan Ashraf Mir said in a statement.

The party spokesperson said that it is not appropriate for governments to undo policy decisions taken by successive elected governments for the betterment of the people.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also demanded a rollback of the “absurd” order, saying re-advertising the posts was a “malicious move” initiated to facilitate non-residents’ entry on these posts.

“Terminating services of Rehbar-e-Khel, Janglat, Zirat, NYCs & referring these posts to SSRB afresh is  a malicious move to destroy careers of these youngsters by ensuring non residents are given jobs at the cost of locals. LG should immediately rollback this absurd order,” Mufti wrote on Twitter.

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