Apni Party President, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Sunday expressed shock and grief over the suicide by a 24-year-old youth of Kulgam district allegedly prompted by withheld salary of his father.
The youth had recorded a video before taking the extreme step to invite government's attention towards the miseries of his family caused by the undue delay in the salary of his father, a teacher, for two years.
In a statement issued here, Bukhari termed the incident as "extremely disturbing wherein a youth in order to draw attention of the people at the helms of affairs towards the sufferings of his family has had to give up his life".
"This highly abhorrible incident depicts an appalling picture of the level of mental stress and trauma of the families whose salaries have been withheld by an apathetic bureaucratic set-up even in the pressing times of Covid-19 pandemic. I hope the incident acts as an eye opener and a wake-up call for the government," he said.
The AP President demanded strict action against those officials "whose impervious attitude resulted in this sad incident".
"The youth took his precious life as his father who was a teacher by profession was not paid salary for the last over a year which had created disastrous circumstances for his entire family. The officers responsible stopping his salary must be booked for abetment in suicide case," Bukhari remarked.
He urged the Lt Governor of J&K to order a thorough probe in this matter "on humanitarian grounds and bring the officers to book whose lackadaisical approach forced the youth to sacrifice his life".
Bukhari also demanded that the families of the teachers whose salaries have been withheld "due to some frivolous reasons" not be allowed to suffer and the departed should immediately release their salaries before they are forced to resort to such unwarranted actions.
Bukhari appealed the government to adopt a humanitarian approach and "refrain from adding to the already existing alienation among masses".
"The pandemic has already proven disastrous and has brought economic depravity to the people and the people at the helms should not draw sadistic pleasures of the miseries of the people in such circumstances," he said.
He said that "denying salary to government employees for trivial reasons amounts to abuse of human rights as well as the labour laws enshrined in the Indian constitution".
"By withholding the salaries you are not only depriving an employee of his fundamental rights including a dignified livelihood but you are also snatching right to life of his family members whose welfare depends on the wages of their bread earner," he added.