Employees resent government diktat of ‘stopping’ salaries

SRINAGAR: As the government issued a diktat to employees asking them to attend their duties, the employees have resented the move, citing danger to their lives in the prevailing situation.

As reported by Hindustan Times, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan, in an order on Wednesday directed heads of departments not to pay salaries to those employees who stay absent from duties.

“According to the order, the decision was taken after reviewing the attendance of employees for the month of July. Asking for strict compliance, the divisional commissioner has warned any deviation from the order will be viewed seriously and recovery would be made from personal account of the erring officer,” the report said.

The government employees have protested the diktat, saying that it is dangerous to move towards offices in the prevailing situation. “Jaan hai to jahaan hai,” J&K Civil Secretariat Non-Gazetted Employees Union president, Ghulam Rasool Mir, said.

“Due to the prevailing situation, it is quite dangerous to life for the employees to reach their offices. While security forces don’t accept either curfew passes or ID proofs, protesters also cannot allow us to move to offices,” Mir said.

He asked when ministers cannot leave their homes, how can employees move out in such a situation. “Let government stop our salaries, then we will see what legal recourse we can take,” he added.

The government offices in the Valley have witnessed thin attendance since July 8 after the killing of young Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Authorities had earlier asked all employees to report for duty saying identity cards would be considered as curfew passes.

“For employees, the situation is a double-edged sword. On one side are government and its forces, and on the other side are protesters. Those officials who issued such order are secured in fortified offices, while employees have to travel in risky situation,” Manzoor Pampori, vice president of Employees Joint Action Committee, said.

“Whole valley is on fire and the government wants the employees to burn in this fire,” Pampori added.

On the government threatening to stop salary of employees, Pampori said the trade unions will “confront” the government on such a move, and will frame a strategy accordingly once “our salary is not released.”

Pampori said that even secretariat employees who live in Srinagar in government quarters could not attend to their duties. “Only 20 per cent employees in secretariat attend to their duties when they live in Srinagar. How can an employee travel to his office from any other area. Whole valley is under strict curfew. Who can risk his life,” he said.

When contacted Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, said he was in a meeting.