Outrage Over Allegedly Casteist Forest Order Issued by DFO Langate in Kupwara

DFO Langate Casteist Letter

In a recent development, an official letter purportedly issued by the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Langate in Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir has sparked controversy and allegations of casteism. The letter, bearing Forest Order No. 43 for the year 2023-24 and dated February 17, 2024, has drawn sharp criticism for its discriminatory language targeting the Shepherd Community including Gujjars, Bakerwals, and Chopans.

Social activist Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat, among others, has condemned the contents of the letter, highlighting the insensitivity towards marginalized communities. Dr. Bhat demanded severe action against the Forest Officer responsible for issuing such an order.

DFO Langate Casteist Letter Order

The letter, addressed to the Range Officer of Mawar, cites a surprise inspection conducted at the Forest Check-post Langate, during which a forest official named Bashir Ahmad Dobhi, identified as a Forest Guard, was allegedly found wearing attire resembling that of a shepherd. The DFO, in the order, asserts that forest officials are expected to adhere to a proper dress code while on duty, particularly in sensitive postings.

Consequently, pending a departmental inquiry, Bashir Ahmad Dobhi has been placed under suspension and attached to the Range Office Rafiabad with immediate effect. The Range Officer of Mawar has been instructed to make internal arrangements to fill the gap left by the suspended official until suitable staff can be posted to the check-post.

The language and tone of the letter have raised concerns about the perpetuation of caste-based stereotypes and discrimination within government institutions. Critics argue that instead of focusing on the individual’s performance and conduct, the order appears to target and stigmatize a specific community based on their traditional attire and occupation.

As calls for accountability grow louder, many are urging authorities to investigate the matter thoroughly and take appropriate action to address the underlying issues of discrimination and prejudice within the administration.

Efforts to reach out to the Divisional Forest Officer for comment on the matter have been ongoing, but as of now, no response has been received.

JK Govt Restores Waiting List for all Kind of Recruitments

Govt of J&K

Administrative Council Reverses Decision, Restores Wait List Provisions for Government Recruitment

In a significant move aimed at streamlining the recruitment process and ensuring timely filling of vacancies, the Administrative Council, chaired by LG Manoj Sinha, convened on the 19th of February, 2024, to reconsider its earlier decision dated 07-09-2023. The council has approved the restoration of enabling provisions for drawing up wait lists in recruitment to public services in the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

The decision entails the withdrawal of amendments previously made to various recruitment rules, including the J&K Civil Services Decentralization and Recruitment Rules, 2010, the Appointment of Class-IV (Special Recruitment) Rules, 2020, the J&K Combined Competitive Examination Rules, 2018, and business regulations of JKPSC/JKSSB, among others. This rollback, initiated through S.O 496, S.O. 497, and S.O. 498 of 2023, extends across all departments and services ab-initio.

Moreover, the council has granted a one-time exemption to recruiting agencies, allowing them to draw up wait lists within six months for select lists issued since the previous decision. However, this exemption is contingent upon the condition that such wait lists are compiled within the validity period of the select list and that resultant vacancies due to non-joining of selected candidates have not been re-advertised.

This decision is poised to facilitate the prompt filling of vacancies, thereby averting delays in re-referral of positions, reducing the time consumed in subsequent selections, and affording candidates the opportunity to secure employment before reaching the upper-age limit.

The move underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing efficiency and transparency in the recruitment process, ultimately benefiting both aspiring candidates and the administration alike.

Govt Orders Transfers of ARTOs in Jammu and Kashmir

TRANSFER

In accordance with Government Order No. S62-JK(GAD) of 2024 dated 31-01-2024 and Government Order No. 594 JK(GAD) of 2024 dated 12-02-2024, the services of four Junior Scale JKAS Officers have been placed at the disposal of the Transport Department. As a result, and in the interest of administration, several transfers and postings of Assistant Regional Transport Officers (ARTOs) and In-charge ARTOs (I/c ARTOs) have been announced with immediate effect.

Here are the details of the transfers and postings:

  1. Samrinder Singh, Jr. Scale JKAS, previously ARTO in Ramban, is now transferred to Jammu.
  2. Sheetal Sharma, Jr. Scale JKAS, formerly ARTO in Bandipora, is awaiting further orders.
  3. Bilal Ahmad Mir and Punika Pandita, Jr. Scale JKAS officers, are also awaiting further orders.
  4. Samotra Mudassir is transferred from ARTO in Kupwara to the Flying Squad in Jammu.
  5. Showkat Ahmad moves from ARTO in Srinagar to ARTO in Kupwara.
  6. Anis Ahmed Wani shifts from ARTO in Budgam to ARTO in Srinagar.
  7. Mehnaz Chisti is transferred from ARTO in Kathua to ARTO in Anantnag.
  8. Ramesh Iqbal moves from ARTO in Samba to I/c ARTO in Reasi.
  9. Sheikh Ahmad is transferred from I/c ARTO in Udhampur to I/c ARTO in Kathua.
  10. Neeraj Sharma is awaiting orders for adjustment.
  11. Kumar Bhat is also awaiting orders for adjustment.
  12. Jugal Kishore Sharma is transferred from I/c ARTO in Shopian to look after ARTO in Reasi.
  13. Shammi Kumar is transferred from I/c ARTO in Srinagar to look after ARTO in Samba.
  14. Manzoor Jan Bhat is now I/c ARTO, presently attached to the Office of Divisional Transport Commissioner, Kashmir.

All officers are deemed to have been relieved from their previous postings with immediate effect. The orders, issued by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, aim to optimize the functioning of the Transport Department and ensure efficient administration across different regions of the state.

JK Traffic Advisory for 19-02-2024: Travel Plans and Precautions

JK Traffic Advisory

In light of the prevailing conditions, authorities have issued a comprehensive traffic plan and advisory for February 19, 2024, ensuring safe travel across various routes. Here are the key points:

Jammu-Srinagar National Highway (NH-44):

  • Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs), Passenger/Private Cars, Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs), and Load Carriers will be permitted from both directions along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway (NH-44), i.e., Jammu to Srinagar and vice versa.
  • Commuters are urged to maintain lane discipline for smooth traffic flow.

Security Forces Convoy Movement:

  • Security Forces vehicles will also be allowed to move in both directions on the Jammu-Srinagar NHW (NH-44) provided the weather and road conditions remain favorable.
  • Prior to embarking on the journey, individuals are advised to contact the Traffic Control Unit (TCU) in Ramban for updated information.

Road Closures:

  • Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumari Road remains closed due to heavy snow accumulation.
  • Mughal Road and Bhaderwah-Chamba road are also blocked due to snow.
  • Similarly, the Kishtwar-Sinthan-Anantnag road is inaccessible owing to snow accumulation.

Advisory for Travelers:

  • It is strongly recommended for travelers to verify the road status from the respective Traffic Control Units before commencing their journey. The contact details for these units are provided below:
  • Jammu: 0191-2459048, 0191-2740550, 9419147732, 103
  • Srinagar: 0194-2450022, 2485396, 18001807091, 103
  • Ramban: 9419993745, 1800-180-7043
  • Udhampur: 8491928625
  • PCR Kishtwar: 9906154100 (for Sinthan Road status)

By adhering to these guidelines and staying informed, travelers can ensure a safer and more efficient journey amidst the current conditions. Stay tuned for further updates and exercise caution while traveling.

EXPOSED: Shocking Reasons Behind Delay in IDTR Jammu Project Revealed! Click to Uncover the Truth Now!

Govt of J&K

In response to mounting concerns over the delay in the completion of the “Institute for Driving, Training and Research (IDTR Jammu)” project, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has taken decisive action. Government Order No. 03-JK(TR) of 2024, dated February 13, 2024, has been issued to address the matter.

According to the order, Shri Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani, Director Finance, Transport Department, J&K, has been appointed as the “Inquiry Officer” to conduct a thorough investigation into the reasons behind the delay in completing the project. The investigation will focus on several key points outlined in the order:

  1. The approval and sanctioning process of the project by the Government of India’s Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
  2. The disbursement of funds totaling Rs. 1014.90 lakhs by the Ministry of Roads and Highways (MORTH), GoI, during the financial year 2019-20.
  3. The current status of the project’s physical progress, which is reported to be significantly below expectations, resulting in cost and time overruns.

The Inquiry Officer is tasked with submitting a comprehensive report detailing the causes of the delay and providing specific recommendations to address the issues identified. The report is expected to be submitted to the Administrative Department within one month from the issuance of the Government Order.

To facilitate the inquiry process, S. Chand Singh, JKAS, Deputy Secretary to the Government, Transport Department, has been directed to assist the Inquiry Officer within the stipulated time frame.

This move underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring accountability and timely completion of crucial infrastructure projects, emphasizing the importance of efficient utilization of public funds and resources.

SDM Pahalgam Syed Naseer Ahmad Transferred and Posted as ACD Kulgam

Syed Naseer Ahmad JKAS

Syed Naseer Ahmad, a diligent officer serving in the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS), has recently been entrusted with a new responsibility. With his commendable track record and exemplary service, Ahmad has been transferred and posted as the Project Officer for Wage Employment under the Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD) in Kulgam. This move underscores the administration’s trust in his capabilities and dedication to public service.

Previously, Ahmad served as the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in Pahalgam, where he efficiently handled various administrative tasks, ensuring smooth governance and effective implementation of policies. Additionally, he held the crucial additional charge of Sub-Registrar in Pahalgam, exhibiting versatility and a commitment to excellence in multiple domains.

IAS Mohammad Aijaz is the new Civil Aviation Commissioner

IAS Mohammad Aijaz

In the interest of administration, it is hereby ordered that Mr. Mohammad Aijaz, an accomplished officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) belonging to the 2012 batch, currently serving as the Administrative Secretary of the Planning Development & Monitoring Department, with the additional responsibility of overseeing the Civil Aviation Department, shall also assume the role of Civil Aviation Commissioner.

Mr. Aijaz, with his extensive experience and proven capabilities, is deemed suitable to take on this additional responsibility alongside his existing duties. This decision has been made to streamline administrative processes and ensure effective management within the Civil Aviation Department.

Effective immediately, Mr. Mohammad Aijaz will be entrusted with the responsibilities of both Administrative Secretary and Civil Aviation Commissioner. He is expected to execute his duties diligently, ensuring smooth operations and promoting the growth and development of the civil aviation sector.

This arrangement shall remain in effect until further orders are issued. It is anticipated that Mr. Aijaz’s leadership will contribute significantly to the advancement of the Civil Aviation Department’s objectives and the overall enhancement of administrative efficiency.

Holiday Declared in Jammu and Kashmir to Mark Shri Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha at Ayodhya

govt of jammu and kashmir

Date: January 21, 2024 – In a significant move, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has declared a half-day public holiday on January 22, 2024. This decision comes in connection with the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of Shri Ram Lalla at Ayodhya, as per the directive in Reference F. No.12/7/2023-JCA dated January 18, 2024, issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions (Department of Personnel & Training), Government of India.

The official order, Government Order No.203-JK (GAD) of 2024, issued today, cites continuity with Government Order No.1582-JK(GAD) of 2023 dated December 11, 2023, and Government Order No.1583-JK(GAD) of 2023 dated December 11, 2023. The public holiday will be observed till 2:30 p.m. on January 22, 2024, in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

This move aims to facilitate the participation of the public in celebrations and observances related to the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of Shri Ram Lalla at Ayodhya, a momentous occasion for millions of people across the country.

Citizens are encouraged to take note of this half-day public holiday and plan their activities accordingly, considering the restrictions in place until 2:30 p.m. on the specified date. The government urges everyone to join in the festive spirit and celebrate this auspicious occasion with joy and harmony.

By Order of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Government Orders Fact Finding Committee to Investigate Irregularities in Jail Fencing Project

Govt of J&K

Jammu & Kashmir, January 17, 2024: In a significant move, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir has issued Government Order No.:185-JK(GAD) of 2024 on January 17, 2024, sanctioning the constitution of a Fact Finding Committee. The committee is tasked with investigating alleged irregularities during the execution of the project titled “Supply and Installation of Power Fencing System across 10 Jails of Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir.”

The committee comprises three key members, with the Commissioner/Secretary to the Government from the General Administration Department serving as the Convenor. The other members include the Director General of Prisons, J&K, and the FA/CAO from the Home Department.

The Terms of Reference for the committee are outlined as follows:

  1. The committee shall thoroughly examine all aspects of the case, including scrutinizing the actions taken by the officers/officials of the Prisons Department at the time of issuing the Supply Order.
  2. The investigation will also focus on the process followed during the allotment of the CMC/AMC Contract, with specific attention to whether the terms and conditions of the tender for the project were adhered to.

To ensure accountability, the committee has been mandated to fix responsibility for any acts of omission and commission on the part of the officers/officials of the Prisons Organization. The committee is expected to submit its comprehensive report to the Government along with recommendations within a stipulated period of 30 days.

The Government’s decision to launch this fact-finding committee underscores its commitment to transparency, accountability, and the fair execution of projects. This move aims to address any potential irregularities and ensure that such issues are promptly identified, investigated, and rectified.

This Government Order has been issued by the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, reflecting a proactive approach to maintaining integrity and efficiency in the administration. The public awaits the findings of the Fact Finding Committee and the subsequent actions that may be taken based on its recommendations.

ACB traps and arrests Dr Bilquees Ara Siddiqui, Scientist-B, Srinagar for demanding and accepting bribe of ₹5,000

Anti Corruption Bureau

In a significant development, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Srinagar received a written complaint against Dr. Bilquees Ara Siddiqui, a Scientist-B employed in the State Pollution Control Board. The complaint alleged that Dr. Bilquees had demanded a bribe for the issuance of ‘Consent To Operate’ (CTO) for a bakery unit situated at the Industrial Estate in Khunmoh.

According to the complainant, who had applied for the CTO in November 2023, his application was pending with Dr. Bilquees. Frustrated by the unnecessary delays, the complainant visited the Pollution Control Board office on the 6th of this month and requested Dr. Bilquees to expedite the processing of his case. Shockingly, the public servant allegedly demanded ₹20,000 as a bribe for the issuance of the CTO. After negotiation, the amount was allegedly settled at ₹5,000.

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Choosing not to succumb to corruption, the complainant decided to approach the Anti Corruption Bureau and file a formal complaint against Dr. Bilquees Ara Siddiqui. Subsequently, Case FIR No. 02/2024 under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, was registered with the Police Station ACB Srinagar, and an investigation was initiated.

In a swift response to the complaint, the Anti Corruption Bureau constituted a trap team. The team successfully laid a trap, catching Dr. Bilquees Ara Siddiqui red-handed while demanding and accepting the bribe amount of ₹5,000 from the complainant. The money was recovered from the accused on the spot.

Dr. Bilquees Ara Siddiqui, daughter of Ghulam Nabi, residing in Sarnal (Gulshan Abad) Anantnag, has been identified as the accused public servant in this case. She holds the position of Scientist-B in the Pollution Control Board.

The investigation into the matter is ongoing, and further legal action will be taken based on the findings. This incident highlights the commitment of the Anti Corruption Bureau to curb corruption and uphold the principles of transparency and accountability in public service.

Citizens are encouraged to report instances of corruption, and the Anti Corruption Bureau reassures the public of its dedication to ensuring justice and fairness in the pursuit of a corruption-free society.