Employees of the J&K government’s Information Department on Wednesday proceeded on an indefinite strike demanding immediate revocation of the attachment order of Joint Director Information, Zahoor Ahmad Mir by the J&K Minister of Information & Public Relations Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali.
A spokesperson for the Information Department Employees Union, Jawahar Lal Raina, said that after an emergency meeting it was decided that all offices of Information Department in J&K will remain shut till the attachment orders of the Joint Director (JD) is revoked. Neither any advertisement will be received or distributed by the information department nor any press release will be issued till the order is revoked, Raina added.
Raina said, “In the recent past, the frequency of such intimidating incidents has increased alarmingly and last week an editor while barging into the office of Joint Director Information Kashmir abused the officers and threatened them of eliminating if his publication is not given a bulk share of advertisements.”
Stating that the Joint Director should have been given a chance to clear his position, Raina said the government never does so in any matter.
The employees’ union has sought the personal intervention of Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti and Information Minister, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali in ensuring the security and dignity of the employees. The union has also urged prominent Editors’ Associations in Jammu and Kashmir divisions to take cognizance of the “disturbing” scenario wherein some small-time editors are resorting to highhandedness and arm-twisting of employees for petty monetary gains.
While talking to reporters, Minister of Information Chowdhary Zulfkar said any officer should not fear of investigations.’ Let them strike. No officer should fear inquiries. If he is exonerated after the inquiry he will report to his duties. Adding that he said, “An RTI application has found some irregularities and the Director Information has been asked to complete the inquiry within seven days.”