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Former J&K chief secretary Ashok Jaitley passes away

Ashok Jaitley served as chief secretary in the state when Valley witnessing militancy related incidents on the daily basis.

By: Express News Service | Srinagar |
Updated: June 30, 2015 8:36:40 pm

Former J&K chief secretary Ashok Jaitley who passed away on Tuesday morning had served as the top bureaucrat of the state when after years of Governors rule democratic government was formed in the state.

Jaitley served as chief secretary in the state when Valley witnessing militancy related incidents on the daily basis.

He enjoyed close association with then J&K chief minister, Farooq Abdullah and was considered a seasoned civil servant who used to defend his subordinates at crucial times. Along with Kashmiri officers, he had signed a protest letter that was dispatched to the Centre government against the killings of innocent civilians.

Jaitley passed away in New Delhi after suffering from a long illness. He was also considered as good rural economist who in late 70’s decontrolled the monopoly of state on the sericulture that help silk growers to sent their silk to outside the state.

Jaitley joined the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) in 1964 and was assigned the Jammu and Kashmir cadre. From 1996 to 2002, he served as the chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. He also served as advisor to the state government under the chief minister ship of Farooq Abdullah for one year soon after his retirement.

“Jaitley served J&K with exemplary commitment, sincerity and unmatched sense of duty. He belonged to the rare and now almost vanished community of outside state officers who stood by Kashmir in their tribulations,’’ said Saleem Beg former J&K Director General Tourism.

Beg said that he was removed from Kashmir when he along with other officers protested against the atrocities and the killings. “This was just one of the sacrifices he offered in the line of duty to serve the people of state.”

He said that Jaitley was a passionate and committed friend and was once labeled as “bleeding heart’’ by a top ranking official in Delhi, an epithet for those who did not toe the official line on Kashmir.

He was the second-longest serving chief secretary of the state after Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad, who was chief secretary from 1953 to 1963. After his retirement, he used to contribute to many newspapers.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, expressed deep sorrow over the sad demise of Jaitley.

“He described the former bureaucrat as an outstanding officer who rose to become the Chief Secretary of J&K purely on the basis of his dedication and administrative acumen,” an official spokesperson quoted mufti as saying.

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