Jammu and Kashmir government plans to sought services of army and paramilitary forces to maintain supply of essential services in the State in the wake of the ongoing employees strike which entered its 11th day on Tuesday.
“In case the government, at any stage, feels necessary, it will also obtain the support of the army and paramilitary forces in maintaining essential services,” the government said in response to the directions passed by the High Court on a PIL last Friday.
Advocate Bashir Ahmad Dar and Advocate Reyaz Ahmad Khan filed the Public Interest Litigation seeking directions to the State government for ensuring smooth functioning of schools, colleges and other educational institutions.
In the 20-page response filed on Monday by Feroze Ahmad Sheikh, the Deputy Secretary to government, General Administration Department, the State government gave details of the steps taken by it in maintaining essential services, including education, health care and food supplies.
It also gave details of the action initiated by the government against striking employees.
The Division Bench of the court comprising Justices Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain and Muzaffar Attar, however, observed that the issues raised in the present petition were not properly replied.
“Though some reports from the government functionaries like Principal Secretary to Government Medical Education Department, Principals of Medical Colleges at Jammu and Srinagar, and Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu have been placed on file but on three main issues we find further response of the government is required which are health care, education and supply of essential commodities like ration etc,” the bench observed.
The Bench also observed that the government has initiated disciplinary action against the employees, who are on strike, but the court has not been informed about the steps taken to ensure normal functioning of the educational institutions in the city and rural areas.
“In these circumstances, we direct the Principal Medical College, Srinagar/Jammu, Director Medical Institute Soura, to submit detailed information about the functioning of the institutions under their control. The Director Health Services Jammu/Srinagar shall also submit similar information in respect of the hospitals functioning under their control,” the court said.
Director School Education of both divisions of the State were also directed by the court to file detailed reply in respect of the working of the schools and colleges along with the attendance of the teaching staff.
“We also direct the Director CAPD Jammu/Srinagar to inform this court about the details of the ration distributed from the ration depots functioning under them with details of item-wise rations distributed to the public during the period of last seven days,” the bench added.
In view of the issues raised and the urgency expressed, the court had directed the concerned officials to file the report today.
The Court had directed the government to ensure the uninterrupted essential services like health care and food supplies to the general public which have been suffering due to the ongoing strike of employees in the State.
Over 4 lakh employees are on strike to demand arrears of their revised salaries after sixth pay commission recommendations and enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60.
Keywords: Employees strike