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Take sympathetic view of KP employees’ plight, can’t force them to return: Mehbooba urges LG

JAMMU: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to take a sympathetic view of the plights of the protesting Kashmiri Pandit employees and not force them to join their duties in Kashmir Valley.

“The government is issuing them diktats they must join their duties or else, they would not be paid their salaries. This is wrong,” said the former chief minister in Jammu.

The employees from the Kashmiri Pandit and Dogra Scheduled Caste communities from Jammu have been protesting since August demanding their relocation to Jammu region after some of their colleagues died in targeted killings by terrorists in various parts of Kashmir. The terrorists have since been threatening the Kashmiri Pandit employees by releasing their ‘hit lists’.

On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said in no uncertain terms that the employees will have to report their duties in Kashmir to claim their salaries. He said, these (protesting) employees belong to the posts in Kashmir division and they will have to work there.

No work, No salary: Sinha in ‘loud and clear’ message to protesting KP employees

Reacting to the development, Mehbooba said that the government should not issue the employees ultimatum, but reassure them.

“Kashmiri Pandits have suffered a lot. In the recent times, a large number of communities members have been killed by terrorists in Kashmir. Their issues have to be seen with a sympathetic view,” said Mehbooba.

“LG Sb must cede to their demand, at least for the time being. When the situation improves, and the community is assured that it indeed has improved, they can be posted back to their duties in Kashmir,” she said.

The migrant Kashmiri Pandit employees and Jammu-based reserved category employees left the Valley for Jammu in May following the targeted killings of their two colleagues — Rahul Bhat and Rajni Bhalla. The protesting employees have been seeking relocation outside Kashmir.

On Friday, the Bhartiya Janta Party asserted that a transfer policy on the relocation of employees to Jammu will have to be made at ‘any cost’.

“We will not allow the Kashmiri Pandits and Reserved Category employees to become scapegoats”, said BJP J&K president Ravinder Raina while addressing a crowd of agitating employees who had gathered outside the party office Friday afternoon to protest.

Despite Sinha’s ‘loud & clear’ message, Raina says will not allow minorities to become scapegoats

Earlier, on Thursday, a similar group of reserved category employees had also protested outside the BJP office and they also got a similar assurance from party functionaries.



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