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Targeted killing: Fear-stricken govt employees stage protest in Jammu

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Jammu: Amid unabated targeted killings in Kashmir, hundreds of government employees posted in the valley took out a march here on Thursday to demand their immediate transfer to their respective home districts.

The protesters were carrying placards in support of their demand and pictures of their colleague Rajni Bala, a school teacher who was shot dead by terrorists at a school in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Tuesday, and chanted slogans demanding relocation.

The march was carried out from Press Club to Ambedkar Chowk.

Assembled under the banner of All Jammu-based reserved categories employees association’, the protesters said they will not resume their duties as the government has failed to stop targeted killings and provide a secure atmosphere to them.

Nearly 8,000 employees from different districts of Jammu are working in Kashmir under inter-district transfer policy and we are not going to return and resume our duties in the present atmosphere. We are serving there for the last 15 years but are feeling insecure and tense in view of the spurt in the targeted killings, Ramesh Chand, a teacher posted in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, told reporters.

He said they have also come to pay homage to Bala and demand the government to ensure free education to her minor daughter and secure a government job for her.

“We are frustrated by the deteriorating security situation as nobody, including Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs are safe there. Anyone can become a victim of terrorists anytime,” he said and referred to the latest killing of bank manager Vijay Kumar from Rajasthan in Kulgam district on Thursday.

Another employee Anjana Bala, a teacher posted in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, said, We do not need government accommodation or promotion, we only want our transfer from the valley as providing security to each employee is not possible.

“There is no safer place in the valley and we are not ready to accept the government proposal of relocation within the valley,” she said, adding they have never faced any problem from the locals who have always supported them.

She said if the government can abolish decade-old Article 370 in August 2019, what stops them from making minor changes in the transfer policy and relocating them to their home districts.

“We did not support the people of Kashmir who were against the revocation of Article 370. They were right and today we regret our decision as nothing changed on the ground except that we had lost the special status,” she said.

Another teacher said they have gone there to earn their livelihood and not to settle there.

“The government is saying that they will relocate us to safer places but even after that if something untoward happens, who will be responsible. Today a bank manager was shot dead inside his secured office, while recently a Kashmiri pandit employee was gunned down in his office chamber,” he said.

He said they have lost faith in the administration and will not return to the valley to become scapegoats.


Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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