The J&K Government has set up Special Task Force (STF) to identify employees, involved in activities prejudicial to security of state, for their termination.
SRINAGAR (J&K) —
The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory administration has established a Special Task Force (STF) to identify and investigate employees suspected of being engaged in activities prejudicial to the security of the state, with the aim of terminating their jobs.
The Government has constituted the STF under the chairmanship of Additional Director General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department to scrutinize the cases of employees suspected of activities requiring action under the proviso (C) of Article 311(2) of the Constitution of India, as per an order issued in this connection.
Under the proviso (C) of Article 311(2), the government is empowered to terminate an employee without recourse to the normal procedure if it is satisfied that his/her retention in public service is ‘prejudicial to the security of the state’.
Apart from Additional Director General of Police, the STF also comprises Inspector General of Police Kashmir/Jammu, representative of Home Department not below the rank of Additional Secretary, representative of Law Department not below the rank of Additional Secretary and representative of the concerned department, as necessary, not below the rank of Additional Secretary.
The STF has been empowered to compile records of such employees and refer it to the committee constituted last year after the Lieutenant Governor-led administration amended the J&K Civil Service Regulations.
Last year on July 30, a committee headed by J&K Chief Secretary and comprising Administrative Secretary Home Department, Director General of Police, Administrative Secretary General Administration Department, Additional Director General of Police, CID and Administrative Secretary Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs was set-up to scrutinize and recommend cases under the proviso (C) of the Article 311(2).
As per the J&K Government’s General Administration Department (GAD) order issued on the evening of April 21, the STF headed by ADGP, CID has also been empowered to engage with other members of the Terror Monitoring Group (TMG) for identifying such other employees, as necessary.
It’s worth noting that in 2016, the People’s Democratic Party-led government fired 12 employees for engaging in anti-national practises.
The regime sacked the employees—first of a kind move by a civilian government in J&K—on charges of leading demonstrations in their respective areas during the 2016 unrest.
After the constitution of Special Task Force, the region’s political parties have termed the move as ‘ironic’, ‘arbitrary’ and even ‘draconian’.
While terming the order as “ironic”, PDP said the administration seems to be busy with policing people’s thoughts, choreographing normalcy junkets and focusing on the information blockade, instead of dealing with the pandemic of COVID-19 which needs the whole of the government’s attention.
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, on the other hand, said there was no need for the J&K administration to constitute the STF to deal with government employees as there were already enough provisions in the law to act against such people.
“The latest order from the J&K Government can serve as a tool for the government and bureaucrats to suppress their subordinates. A sword of uncertainty has been kept on the heads of employees which can also be exploited by their superiors,” he added.
Demanding a review, he said such measures deepen anger and discontentment among the ranks of employees in particular and common people in general.