In what could make things difficult for present coalition government and lead to stand off between government and employees, the employees of health department in Jammu and Kashmir have threatened to go on an agitation after minister of state Shabir Ahmed Khan allegedly slapped an employee during his inspection visit to the Directorate of Health Services in Jammu. During the visit the junior health minister also suspended seven employees.
As reported by TNN, Khan made a surprise visit to the office on Monday and demanded the attendance register. The minister was apparently annoyed at the clerk, Som Raj, for the delay in bringing the register and slapped him, TNN quoted sources to have said.
Anegered by the minister’s act, various associations of health employees are planning to protest. Though Raj was not available for comment, sources said the employees’ associations would take up the issue with the Election Commission, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. “They will go to the court seeking justice,” sources said.
President of J&K Medical Employees’ Federation Sushil Sudan said they are surprised over the minister’s “dictatorial behavior”, but would protest in a democratic manner. Though Raj is not from the medical department, president of J&K Medical Employees’ Association Pradeep Sharma, chairman of the Association of Public Sector Employees’ Association Suresh Sharma are among those who have extended their support. They have called an emergency meeting of the joint consultative committee.
This is the second such incident in the recent past. Minister of state for home Sajjad Kichloo slapped Riaz Ahmed Choudhary, CEO of Kishtwar Development Authority, on April 18.