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Saturday, October 23, 2021

After attacks, J&K to migrant staff: get to work or face action

Those who have returned to Jammu are still cautious about getting back to work in the Valley, with some deciding to stay back for now.

Written by Aanchal Magazine , Naveed Iqbal | New Delhi, Srinagar |
Updated: October 13, 2021 7:10:53 am
Kashmiri Pandit families return to a migrant camp in Jammu on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

The Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Saturday directed Deputy Commissioners of all 10 districts in Kashmir to ensure that migrant employees need not leave the Valley and that “whosoever will be absent shall be dealt as per Service Rules”.

While a couple of Deputy Commissioners, who did not wish to be named, said they will wait for a government order before acting, the employees who had left the Valley feeling unsafe after a Sikh school principal and Kashmiri Hindu teacher were killed last week by terrorists, said the administration was being “insensitive”.

Those who have returned to Jammu are still cautious about getting back to work in the Valley, with some deciding to stay back for now. Siddharth Raina (name changed), who had returned to Srinagar in 2015 with a job in the J&K Education Department under the Prime Minister’s package and returned to Jammu last week, said most of them are teachers and are conducting online classes for students.

“Employees came to Jammu fearing threat to their lives. Instead of allaying their fears, assuring security, and making necessary arrangements, the administration threatens them with action as per Service Rules,” said an employee who had returned to the Valley in 2015 after he got a job under the Prime Minister’s package.

“The orders may have been issued with good intent. But many of the employees are staying in their own rented accommodation in places in South Kashmir. It’s not clear how they will be provided security,” another minority member who got employment under the PM package said on the condition of anonymity.

This was one among many issues discussed with all DCs and SPs of the Valley’s districts in a meeting on Saturday called by Pandurang Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to review security arrangements and identify government accommodation for “protected persons”.

He told those present in the meeting that the accommodation to the “protected persons” through the Divisional Commissioner’s office provided in 14 Srinagar hotels “be deemed to have been dehired” from October 5.

Further, directions to provide the “protected persons”, the PSOs and guards, accommodation in the concerned district, “be adhered to in letter and spirit”. Pole did not respond to calls and messages.

A placard reads ‘Where Is My Home’ during a protest by the Kashmiri Hindu community after terrorist activities in the Kashmir valley, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

“The chair (Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir) directed that all the Deputy Commissioners and SSPs (Senior Superintendent of Police) shall ensure one to one meeting with the representative/ leaders of all the political parties within 2-3 days for the redressal of their apprehensions regarding security, accommodation etc. and consider their genuine demands,” the minutes of the meeting released on Tuesday said.

The Divisional Commissioner also directed that non-migrant minority populations — labourers, skilled labourers etc — in the districts be identified and adequate security measures be put in place for them along with regular interactions. He also said migrant employees should preferably be posted in safe and secure zones instead of far flung and vulnerable areas for the time being, according to the minutes.

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