Srinagar, Apr 24 (PTI) The National Conference (NC) on Saturday said the constitution of a task force to monitor government employees in Jammu and Kashmir is a toolkit to 'suppress' them and it will impede the work culture in the departments.
In a statement, NC MP Muhammad Akbar Lone described the measure as a diktat destined to take away what was given by the Constitution to people in the form of fundamental rights and demanded its rollback.
He also said the measure is a result of 'colonial hangover' that gives sweeping powers to the government with minimal safeguards to protect the interests of the employees, thus putting them at a disadvantage of being labelled as anti-nationals.
'Such measures might be used against anybody who wounds the vanity of the government or criticises its policies. There is a stark distinction between being anti-national and having an opinion, this diktat obliterates such distinction,' Lone said.
The MP from north Kashmir's Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency said the new gag provides a handy tool to the higher-ups in the bureaucracy to 'suppress' their subordinates and lower-rung officers on unjustified excuses.
'Having such a measure in place in a functioning democracy is uncalled for. It is bound to add to the haughtiness in the bureaucracy. The misstep is yet another low this government has touched. Such a law was not required in the first place because there are already service rules that deal with such employees as are involved in any unscrupulous activity.
'The measure, it goes without saying, gives a ditch to the claim of the government on the return of normalcy in Kashmir. Normal situations do not require the government to have such bizarre diktats in place,' he said.
Highlighting the 'undemocratic underpinnings' of the gag, Lone asked the government to roll back the diktat as it would severely affect the work culture in its departments.
'This is what the government has for our employees when they are in the frontline fighting the resurgence of COVID-19. With such measures, the ruling dispensation at New Delhi has brought dark days for the labour classes in Jammu and Kashmir,' he said.
The NC leader said such 'exclusivist measures' reveal the 'wanton parity, which our people are subjected to'.
'We are undoubtedly undergoing a grim chapter in the history of Jammu and Kashmir that sans democratic moorings and reverence for people's fundamental rights,' he added. PTI SSB RC