Pandit Employees To Be Posted In ‘Less Vulnerable’ Areas of Kashmir Now

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Kin Of Civilians Killed In Shopian ‘Cross-firing’ To Get All Benefits, Says Div Com

Srinagar- The divisional administration in Kashmir directed all the heads of departments on Wednesday to ensure that the Kashmiri Pandit employees serving in the Kashmir valley are posted only in less vulnerable areas such as towns and district headquarters to ensure their safety and security.

“We had a meeting with all heads of departments and chief engineers. I have told them to ensure that the Kashmiri Pandit employees are posted in less vulnerable areas like towns and district headquarters,” Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir P K Pole told reporters here.

The move comes in the wake of the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit employee, Rahul Bhat, inside his office in the Chadoora area of Budgam district by militants on May 12.

Kashmiri Pandit employees, who were employed under the prime minister’s employment package for migrants, have been protesting for six days now, demanding transfers to safer places like Jammu.

Pole evaded a direct reply when asked if the government is willing to consider the demands of the protesting employees such as shifting them to Jammu.

He said the administration will resolve the service-related matters concerning the Kashmiri Pandit employees within a week.

“Eventually, all government employees have to follow a code of conduct. We are looking into it…. They will not be posted in remote or vulnerable areas, the issue of couples being posted in different areas will also be addressed. They will be posted closer to their colonies so that their commuting time is also less,” Pole said.

Asked about the civilians killed in “cross-firing” in Shopian over the last 10 days, Pole said the next of kin of the deceased will get all the benefits, including ex-gratia relief under the relevant SRO.

“There is a set procedure for investigating civilian killings. A magisterial probe has been ordered. The next of kin of the innocent victims will get whatever is due to them under the (relevant) SRO,” he said.

Two civilians were killed in alleged cross-firing between security forces and militants in Shopian district in the last 10 days.

Protest Enters 7th Day

Meanwhile Kashmiri Pandit employees who have been protesting against the killing of their colleague Rahul Bhat inside his office, on Wednesday held a protest march in Budgam district.

The protestors raised slogans like Vande Matram, Bharat Mata Ki Jai and ‘We want Justice’ as they marched from Sheikhpura colony to Humhama, the officials said.

They also raised slogans against District magistrate Budgam.

The protests against Bhat’s killing have now entered the seventh day.

Bhat was shot dead by militants inside his office at Chadoora on May 12.

Rahut Bhat’s Wife Given Govt Job, Rs 5L Ex-Gratia

The Union Territory administration on Wednesday handed over appointment letter and ex-gratia relief to the family of Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat, who was shot dead by unknown gunmen last week in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

The Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, along with Additional Director General of Police Jammu, Mukesh Singh on Wednesday handed over appointment letter and ex-gratia amount to Bhat’s family, an official spokesperson said.

Besides it, he said, a financial assistance of Rs 5 Lakh as ex-gratia relief was also handed over to the family.

Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Avny Lavasa also accompanied the Div Com.

The spokesperson said that the government has sanctioned the compassionate appointment of Bhat’s widow Meenakshi Raina under SRO-43 of 1994.

“She has been appointed as Class-IV in the Pay level of SL 1(14800-47100) in the Government Higher Secondary School Nowabad, Jammu (School education department) on compassionate grounds under SRO-43 of 1994, read with SRO-199 of 2008 dated 04.07.2008,” he added.    

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