‘Administration to rework postings of KP employees in Kashmir to ensure safety’

Srinagar, May 18: The divisional administration in Kashmir directed all the heads of departments on Wednesday to ensure that the Kashmiri Pandit employees serving in the valley are posted only in less vulnerable areas such as towns and district headquarters to ensure their safety and security.

“We had a meeting with all heads of departments and chief engineers. I have told them to ensure that the Kashmiri Pandit employees are posted in less vulnerable areas like towns and district headquarters,” Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir P K Pole told reporters here.

The move comes in the wake of the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit employee, Rahul Bhat, inside his office in the Chadoora area of Budgam district by terrorists on May 12.

Kashmiri Pandit employees, who were employed under the prime minister’s employment package for migrants, have been protesting for six days now, demanding transfers to safer places like Jammu.

Pole evaded a direct reply when asked if the government is willing to consider the demands of the protesting employees such as shifting them to Jammu.

He said the administration will resolve the service-related matters concerning the Kashmiri Pandit employees within a week.

“Eventually, all government employees have to follow a code of conduct. We are looking into it…. They will not be posted in remote or vulnerable areas, the issue of couples being posted in different areas will also be addressed. They will be posted closer to their colonies so that their commuting time is also less,” Pole said.

Asked about the civilians killed in “cross-firing” in Shopian over the last 10 days, Pole said the next of kin of the deceased will get all the benefits, including ex-gratia relief under the relevant SRO.

“There is a set procedure for investigating civilian killings. A magisterial probe has been ordered. The next of kin of the innocent victims will get whatever is due to them under the (relevant) SRO,” he said.

Two civilians were killed in alleged cross-firing between security forces and terrorists in Shopian district in the last 10 days.

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