NEW DELHI: Tightening scrutiny on its staffers with possible terror links, Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday ordered that the involvement of an employee's immediate family or one sharing residential space, in any anti-national act, which could subject such employee to duress and pose a grave security risk, shall be adversely noted during periodic verification of character and antecedents of government servants.
In continuation of its instructions issued in 1997 and amended from time to time, the J&K government listed detailed parameters that must be kept in mind while periodically verifying character and antecedents of its employees. These include involvement of the staffer’s immediate family or persons sharing residential space who are connected with any foreign government, association or individuals known to be directly or indirectly hostile to India’s national and security interests. Any failure on part of the government employee to report unauthorised association with a suspected or known collaborator of employee of a foreign intelligence agency or any contacts with citizens of other countries or financial interests in other countries that make the employee potentially vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure by a foreign government, will also attract adverse reporting.
The promotion of such adversely reported government employees, if due, will be immediately put on hold, and their case sent to the UT screening committee for further scrutiny. In case the adverse report is confirmed, the employee will face action including termination from government service.
On Wednesday, however, the J&K government announced a review mechanism for any action taken against a J&K government staffer, based on adverse character reporting. A review committee chaired by the chief secretary and having DGP and administrative secretary, general administration department, shall review the cases suo motu or on reference made to it by the UT level screening committee or on basis of representation made by the aggrieved employee.
As part of periodic verification of government employees, the J&K government order issued on Thursday stated, it must be assessed if the employee is himself involved in or sympathises with those attempting an act of sabotage, espionage, treason, terrorism, subversion, sedition/ secession, facilitating foreign interference, incitement to violence etc. Reports indicating that representatives or nationals from a foreign country are acting to increase the vulnerability of the individual to possible future exploitation, coercion, must also be adversely noted, it added.
“Until now, being anti-national or association with anti-national elements was seen as somewhat of an advantage for landing a government job. There have been cases when threat or coercion from a terrorist related or known to an individual has landed the latter a government job. Now this will be a clear disqualification and a government employee known or related to a terrorist or having association with an ‘inimical’ foreign country, will face adverse character reporting that may lead to termination of his service,” a J&K government functionary told TOI.