PM package employees in a tight corner

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Omkar Dattatray

Kashmir is facing confusion, chaos and uncertainty from the last over three decades of terrorism and this confusing situation has made the life of the people very difficult. The Kashmiri Pandits and the package employees have also been adversely affected by the armed insurgency and sincere efforts need to be made by the powers to address the genuine problems of the package employees and to take necessary steps to remove confusion so that people including Pandits and package employees will heave a sigh of relief. The PM package employees are the unfortunate sons of mother India but they are patriotic and nationalistic to the core. Their patriotism and nationalism is the reason that they have been exiled along with the whole Kashmiri Pandits some more than three decades ago. The recent spurt in terrorist activities and the spree of the targeted killings of the soft targets and the package employees has created an unprecedented situation in which the package employees are held. Due to the fear psychosis and panic the package employees are unable to live and perform their duties in such a surcharged atmosphere of fear. Since the unfortunate and dastardly killing of Rahul Bhat a package employee of revenue department in Magistrate’s office in Tehsil Chadoora of Budgam district, the package employees are fear and panic stricken and they are on boycott of their offices and on a continuous strike from the past over a month at Jammu and at various camp habitations in Kashmir. They are demanding their relocation temporarily to safer places outside Kashmir to Jammu division and other nearby states of the country. The package employees are agitating continuously for the fulfillment of their single and genuine demand of their relocation outside the valley for the time being. But the insensitive and indifferent centre government of the BJP and the LG administration is paying a deaf ear to the agitating package employees and are not considering their single demand of relocation outside Kashmir till the time normalcy is restored in the valley. With the result these hapless package employees are suffering and are facing worst kind of uncertainty relating to the safety of their life and their jobs. The government is not paying any heed and attention to the peaceful protests of these employees for safety to their life, limb and dignity as well as to their jobs. Both the centre government and the UT government are reluctant towards the demands of the agitating package and seem unlikely to accept their genuine demand and thus they face uncertainty and are suffering due to the lackluster approach of the government. The BJP government of centre is insensitive and unnerved to the demand of the package employees and are unfortunately attaching the special employment package with the policy of return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits. The fact is that the employment package for the Kashmiri Pandits is an economic package and it has nothing to do with the policy of return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits and therefore the two different things should not be clubbed together. The relocation of the package employees outside the Kashmir to Jammu division temporarily will not be construed as the failure of the return and rehabilitation policy. The BJP rulers should thus understand and appreciate that the relocation of the package employees will in no way affect the policy of return and rehabilitation of the uprooted Kashmiri Pandits. The relocation of the package employees to Jammu division will not lead to the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmir from the Hindu minority because the residual Pandits and other Hindus still live in scattered places across the Kashmir and so the government should not be under the bad impression that the relocation will give boost to ethnic cleansing. Moreover the relocation or temporary adjustment of the package employees outside the valley to Jammu division should not be taken as the success of the dubious plan of the ISI of Pakistan of forcing the minorities to migrate to safer places to Jammu division. Thus the BJP government should not take the relocation of the package employees as the success of the plan of Pakistan of engineering the migration of the minorities. The relocation of the package employees is for a short period of time till the normalcy is restored in Kashmir and on normalcy the package employees will voluntarily work across Kashmir valley and therefore where is the question of the success of the Pakistan’s plan. Therefore Modi government should be flexible on the demand of the relocation of the package employees and should shun its ego and direct the LG of Jammu and Kashmir to order the relocation of the package employees so that their precious lives are saved and they can work in Jammu division for the time being to put a halt to the uncertainty and sufferings as well as the hardships and inconveniences .One wonders that LG Manoj Sinha is conducting high level meetings regarding service related matters like promotions and transferring the package and other outside Hindu employees to so called safe zones in Kashmir division within the municipalities and also within three kilometers of the municipal jurisdiction when the stark reality is that the package employees are neither demanding the redressal of the service related matters ,nor the transfer to so called safe zones. So why is then LG administration ordering and initiating the process of the promotions of the package employees when it is none of the demands of the agitating package employees. The package employees on strike are only begging for their life and survival and the BJP government should ensure their survival as the Kashmiri Pandit community is the well wisher of the BJP and always votes in favour of the party come what may. So the insensitive and indifferent BJP government should do everything possible so that the LG will order the relocation of the package employees to Jammu division temporarily till the situation in Kashmir normalizes. It is pertinent to mention here that the BJP government of Modi has not done anything in its rule of eight years to ameliorate the lot of uprooted Kashmiri Pandits while the fact is that Kashmiri Pandits are the staunch supporters of the BJP. The employment package is the creation of the UPA government of the Manmohan Singh and the BJP government of centre is only working to keep the package employees posted across Kashmir inspite of the targeted killings and fear psychosis and the demands of the package employees of relocating them temporarily to Jammu division till the time the ground situation will become conducive for the living and working there. The exiled Pandit community has reposed trust and confidence in the BJP and has always voted in favour of the party and therefore the BJP should also come to the rescue of the Pandit package employees when they are in trouble and are asking and begging for their survival which is at stake while working across Kashmir. The BJP government of centre and the LG administration of the UT should realize that the package employees are at the cross roads of the history and are in uncertainty and suffering, so they should make things simpler for the relocation of the package employees to Jammu division so that their lives are saved and they can work without fear, duress and oppression. So it is not the matter of promotions and other service related issues and matters which can wait and can be postponed and in the context of insecurity, panic and fear the urgent need is to provide some succor to these employees in the form of the relocation to Jammu division and nearby states to save these hapless employees from uncertainty, sufferings and inconveniences as well as troubles. Thus without wasting time the government should order the temporary adjustment and posting of the package employees to Jammu division to mitigate their problem and address their genuine an d only demand of relocation as nothing short of relocation will be acceptable to the protesting employees who are also boycotting their duties across Kashmir valley. The genuine demand and issue of the relocation of the package employees should not be lingered and delayed by the powers as it will prove detrimental to the package employees as the terrorist are after their lives and the government should not take any chance and risk the precious and innocent lives of the package employees. Therefore it is obvious that the powers that be should think pragmatically and order the relocation of the package employees so that not only their life and limb is saved but they can also work without any fear and duress. To conclude, one is not sure as to how long will the package employees suffer from insecurity, apathy of the government and uncertainty?