No salaries to those sitting at home: LG’s ‘loud and clear’ message to protesting Kashmiri Pandit employees

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Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday asserted all necessary measures have been taken for the safety of minority community employees including Kashmiri Pandits serving in the Valley, and sent out a “loud and clear” message to those protesting for transfer — no salary for sitting at home.

Sinha made the remark amid the ongoing protest by migrant Kashmiri Pandit employees and Jammu-based reserved category employees who left the Valley for Jammu in May following the targeted killings of their two colleagues — Rahul Bhat and Rajni Bhalla. The protesting employees have been seeking relocation outside Kashmir.

“They are on a strike and I was in constant touch with them and made sincere efforts to address all their long-pending issues. Almost all of them were transferred to district headquarters in consultation with district commissioners, superintendents of police and other government functionaries,” the Lt Governor told reporters here.

He, however, said some people are placed at tehsil headquarters, and some in villages close to the city as those posted in the rural development department cannot be transferred to the city.

“Minority employees will not be deployed alone in any office and it was decided that two to three more people will be stationed along with them. We have appointed officers in every district and one in Raj Bhavan to look after their grievances. They are listening to them and are looking for necessary steps to address their issues,” he said.

Sinha said all deserving employees have been promoted, fulfilling their long-pending demand.

“The list for promotion from non-gazetted to gazetted posts was forwarded to the Public Service Commission which informed that they were appointed in 2015, while they have already cleared the list of general category employees till 2014 and their list is in pipeline,” he said.

Sinha said there is only one genuine issue of concern which is of their accommodation.

“Earlier, there were some issues related to land but it was cleared and tenders floated to complete the project for their accommodation at secured places. As many as 1,200 of them will be provided accommodation by April, and 1,800 more flats will be given during the next financial year,” he said.

He said their security is the priority of the administration.

“We have cleared their (protesting employees’) salaries till August 31, but it cannot be done that they will be paid their salaries by sitting at their homes. This is a loud and clear message to them and they should listen and understand it,” he said.

He said the J & K administration has full sympathy with them and is ready to provide them security or any other assistance.

Referring to the protesting reserved category employees who are also camping in Jammu and demanding their relocation, he said, “They should also keep in mind that they are Kashmir division employees and cannot be transferred to Jammu.” However, he said the chief secretary has framed a committee to look into their demand. “And I assure them that if there is any chance, we will frame a policy accordingly.”



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