#Day53: Two Banihal Health Employees Suspended For ‘Creating Law and Order Problems’

Riyaz ul Khaliq



J&K Government has suspended two of its employees in Jammu division’s Banihal district for “taking part in protests”.

The suspension order in this regard was issued by Deputy Commissioner Banihal on August 12.

Sources said that Haji Abdul Rashid Padder and Mohammad Waseem were suspended and two enquiry teams are investigating the accusations against them.

Local sources said that pro-freedom protests are taking place in Banihal areas “almost every day”.

The duo is working in Health department. Padder is a senior pharmacist and posted in PHC Nowgam Banihal while Waseem is Accounts Manager posted at sub-district hospital Banihal.

Deputy CMO Banihal, Dr Mohammad Iqbal, confirmed the suspension of duo employees.

“DC has suspended the two employees and enquiry is going in the case,” Dr Iqbal told Kashmir Life.

He said that police have filed an FIR against Padder and Waseem “for holding protests”. “Police too are investigating the matter.”

However, Dr Iqbal said, “it is risky to visit Tethaar in such a situation so that I can do investigation.” “I fear people might pelt stones. Kon si emergency hai? (to complete the investigation whether or not Padder and Waseem led pro-freedom protests).”

Speaking to Kashmir Life Mohammad Waseem quoted the order issued by the DC on August 12: “These two persons are creating law and order problems in Banihal constituency. In this regard, an FIR has been lodged in PS Banihal 29 July 2016 under 101/2016 u/s RPC 147, 148, 149, 120/b, 121/a.”

“I was there during the protest,” he said, “because people forced me to take part otherwise they threatened me of social boycott.”

Similarly, Padder said, “I was on way home when a pro-freedom demonstration was taking place in the area.”

It all happened on July 29, 2016. It was Friday and as soon as the mandatory congregational Friday prayers ended, people came out on roads taking out a pro-freedom march.

“I was forced to participate; I was not leading the rally in any case,” Waseem said.

He said that he attends his duties but “charge has been taken from me”. He rued that the enquiry team set up by the department under deputy CMO “is not taking any initiative”.

Haji, on his part said, “I was on leave from my duties on July 29 as I had left for Srinagar on late evening of July 28, 2016.”

“My son is preparing for 10+2 examination and studies at a Private Tuition centre in Parray Pora area of summer capital,” Haji told Kashmir Life over phone, “my son had come home before Eid-ul-Fitr and I had to travel to Srinagar to bring back his books so that he could prepare for exams.”

He added, “given the crisis in Kashmir, I left Srinagar around 7 AM on July 29, Friday, and was back at home around 11:30 AM. I had already sought leave from duties for the day as I had anticipated that I might be late.”

Haji further said that he offered Friday congregational prayers in Jamia Masjid Tethaar. “Youths came out on roads holding pro-freedom protests and the rally took the same route which goes to my area,” he said.

Notably, Kashmir is witnessing renewed mass uprising triggered by the killing of popular militant commander Burhan Wani on July 08, 2016. The mass protests spread to Banihal, Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch as well as Rajouri.

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