Government’s attendance ‘diktat’ to employees evokes sharp criticism
The J&K Government's stern directive to its employees to ensure their attendance in offices came in for severe criticism on Thursday, with leaders of employees asking the government to ensure their safety and security first before asking them to report for duties.
In a bid to break the ongoing unrest which entered its 40th day Wednesday, the State Government warned of stern action against employees if they failed to attend their duties.
"Chief Secretary directed the administrative secretaries to ensure that all the employees working in the departments under their administrative control including the subordinate offices attend their duties regularly. It was further directed that the employees who remain un-authorizedly absent should be asked to report to their duties, failing which action as warranted under rules should be initiated against them," the record note of the meeting chaired by Chief Secretary on August 17, reads. A copy of this note is in possession of Greater Kashmir.
However, the 'diktat' has drawn flak, with leaders of employees asking the government to ensure protection and safety of the employees first before asking them to attend their offices.
"How can we turn up for duties when our curfew passes and identity cards are not honoured by forces on ground? We feel insecure to go out of our homes in this situation," said Employees Joint Action Committee (Q) vice-president, Fayaz Shabnum.
He said employees of Kashmir worked in turbulent situation of '90s when politicians had "taken refuge in New Delhi."
"But in the present situation, it is very difficult for us to attend our duties," he said.
President of Civil Secretariat Non- Gazetted Employees Union (CSNGEU) Ghulam Rasool Mir also questioned the Government's move.
"We are feeling insecure to venture out. The Government should ensure our protection and hassle-free movement if they are serious towards our attendance. The forces are maltreating and misbehaving with employees."
He said the employees are caught in a catch-22 situation.
"On one hand, the government threatens to withhold our salaries if we don't turn up in offices, but on the other we are ridiculed in our localities when we leave in the morning to attend our duties," he said.
The Government's move comes at a time when governance stands crippled in Kashmir over the past 40 days, with offices including the Civil Secretariat witnessing minimal presence of employees.