J-K Crackdown On Employees With Militant Links
10 March 2007
The Indian Express
Jammu: With the state Cabinet deciding to terminate the services of 18 employees for alleged links with militants, the Ghulam Nabi Azad-led coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has now started weeding out 'moles'. The Cabinet yesterday agreed to the action recommended against the 18 employees by a committee headed by the chief secretary. A senior officer said the action was taken under Section 126 of the J&K Constitution. Considered a big step, the government has sent clear indications that it will not tolerate 'black sheep' in the administration. During the recent Assembly session, Azad had indicated that he may take stern action against such elements. 'The Cabinet, in its meeting, took the decision. Official orders for termination of services will be issued soon,' Health Minister Mangat Ram Sharma told The Indian Express adding that the government would not tolerate any involvement of employees with militants, at any cost. The government has not yet disclosed the names of the 18 employees, but sources said they include engineers, a doctor and a banker. The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting which was boycotted by PDP. A committee headed by the chief secretary had submitted its report to the government a few days back. The committee was constituted by the chief minister after inputs from intelligence agencies and state police regarding alleged involvement of some state employees in subversive activities and their alleged links with militants. The BJP has welcomed the decision. Lone party MLA in the Assembly, Jugal Kishore Sharma, said: 'I have heard of this. If it is true, we welcome it. Moreover, the action vindicates our allegations of an employee-militant nexus'. On the other hand, a PDP minister described the action as 'taken in haste'. 'It is unfortunate that the decision came at a Cabinet meeting which was not attended by our party. I am not aware of the whole picture. But I think any action taken in haste against employees can bring down the morale of those working under difficult conditions,'he added. Earlier, during the then Governor Jagmohan's tenure, action had been taken against employees for alleged links with militants and 123 employees were placed under suspension. However, they were reinstated when the Farooq Abdullah government came to power in 1996.