The J&K Bank has terminated the services of a Chief Manager-rank officer for “the State’s security interests” and decided against holding any formal inquiry.
The terminated officer has been identified as Chief Manager Sajad Bazaz, also a widely-read columnist on economic affairs and banking. He writes for the Greater Kashmir, a local daily.
“It was determined that, given the State’s security interests, conducting an inquiry in the case of Sajad Ahmad Bazaz, Chief Manager, would not be deemed appropriate or advantageous. In view of this, Mr. Bazaz’s services as Chief Manager are hereby terminated with immediate effect,” a bank communication, quoting the Managing Director, said.
It said the Managing Director has expressed “contentment after evaluating the detailed account of the situation as presented in a report furnished by trustworthy agencies”.
Mr. Bazaz was posted in the Internal Communication and Marketing department of the bank. “His dismissal [was] in accordance with the prevailing rules and provisions,” it said, while invoking Rule/Provision 12.29 of the Organisational Service Manual (OSM).
The action, the bank said, underscored the institution’s commitment to maintaining its integrity and safeguarding the interests of the organisation and the State as a whole.
Mr. Bazaz is the first such employee of the bank that has been sacked without holding any formal inquiry.
L-G defends move
J&K Lieutenant Governor defended the move to sack employees. “It doesn’t matter who says what as there is a provision in Indian Constitution kept by architects like B.R. Ambedkar to go tough, rather hard against those who pose threat to State and nation’s integrity and sovereignty,” he said.
The L-G said his administration will go tough against those who have supported terrorism, its eco-system and enjoyed government jobs through “illegal means”.
Earlier, the J&K Government terminated around 50 government officials by invoking provisions under Article 311 (2) (c), which does not require any trial or investigation by the department concerned, except for a report filed by the security agencies.
The J&K Government in April in 2021 constituted a Special Task Force (STF) for identifying and scrutinising the government employees who are involved in any cases related to posing threat to the country’s security or involved in anti-national activities.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti questioned the move of the bank. “Selectively terminating Kashmiri employees by wrongfully dubbing them as terrorist sympathisers and pro-ISI has been normalised. The accused isn’t given a chance to prove his innocence with the government acting as judge and jury. This hooliganism is meant to frighten Kashmiris into submission,” Ms. Mufti said, in a post on X (formerly Twitter).