Free Press Journal

Omar Abdullah hits out at govt for using force against protesting employees


Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today hit out at the PDP-BJP government in the state for using force against the employees demanding regularisation of their services. Omar, in an obvious reference to employment of grandson of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani as research officer in SKICC, said the government had no wages for casual labourers.

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“No money for wages for casual labourers but let’s go and employ a ‘researcher’ for Rs 12 lakhs a year because that’s what SKICC needs right now,” Omar sarcastically said in a tweet. Earlier in the day, the police used water cannons and batons to disperse hundreds of National Health Mission (NHM) employees who are on strike here since March 1 demanding regularisation of their services.

The opposition National Conference working president also hit out at Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who asked youth to help her in restoring peace so that she can help them find employment.

“Was that the quid pro quo for the ‘Researcher’ job in SKICC at the peak of last year’s protests madam CM?” Omar asked. Geelani’s grandson was appointed as a research officer at government-run Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre in November last year.

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A media report had claimed that the PDP-BJP government had bend the rules to accommodate the relative of the Hurriyat hawk in government service. However, the state government rubbished the report, saying due process was followed while carrying out the appointment and the selected candidate had figured at serial number one on the merit list.

The government also said the CID department, the intelligence wing of the state police, had also cleared his appointment.