‘Illegal’ appointees decry ‘pick and choose’ policy

‘Health officials received bribes to release salary of ‘preferred’ ones’

ANANTNAG: Illegal appointees who have locked down the office of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Anantnag for the last 15 days have vowed to continue their strike until they got a proper hearing from the government.

Reports said that employees who were appointed in Health Department without any proper recruitment process have locked down the office of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Anantnag and are protesting against the alleged ‘pick and choose policy’. 

The Finance Department, in 2012, had pointed out certain irregularities in the Health Department and exposed much hyped recruitment scam. 

Some 2274 candidates were reportedly appointed by then Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ul-Rehman, who was heading the committee constituted by the government. 

Unpaid since 2013, the protesting appointees have alleged that the government resorted to ‘pick and choose’ policy in clearing the cases. “Those who could pay large bribes are drawing their salaries,” one of the appointed told Kashmir Observer. “Those who couldn’t pay are being punished.” 

The Finance Department and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department vide order number:  HD/Legal/NG/MR-154/2014-M, Dated: 29/8/2014 had identified 2274 candidates having been appointed in a total disregard to the rules and regulations.

The Department is withholding the salaries of only 133 employees. “If these 133 employees are also involved in 2274 illegal appointees, why is this discrimination is being meted out to these 133 employees,” questioned another employee. “All of 2274 candidates are invariably fake appointees selected by the authorities not competent to make such appointments in the first place.

They asked why are the Block Medical Officers hesitating to implement the government order duly endorsed by DHSK vide Order Number: DHSK/LEGAL/ANTG/-506/1183-86 Dated:-11/7/2015 and also endorsed by Chief Medical Officer Anantnag wide order number EST-IV/LEGAL/3308-16 Dated:-15/7/2015. 

“We are being made a scapegoat in this scandal which is the reason that we are protesting and have locked down the office of Chief Medical officer,” Irfan Ahmad, an appointee told Kashmir observer. “The authorities should apply the same yardstick to everyone.”

He said that appointees would continue to protest till they got justice. “Either release ours salary or stop the salary of all 2274 appointees which were identified by the Finance Department,” they said. “We can’t see our children die of starvation.”

They have threatened that they would bring their families on the roads to join the protets. “We will not allow Chief Medical Office function until our demands are met,” the protesting employees said. 

Sources revealed that the department has have received the requisite amount to the tune of lakhs of rupees to release their salary. “If they have no orders to release the salary, how have the DDO’s and chief accounts officers released their salary,” they questioned. “On what basis the Finance Department and Treasures are demanding the budget of these illegal appointees.”

When we contacted, the  CMO Anantnag he refused to comment on the issue.

Director Health Services Kashmir, however, said that a letter to the District Commissioner, Anantnag, has already been dished out for investigating the matter. “We hope we will get a report soon,” he said.

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