After calling IAS officer ‘uloo ka patha’, trade union leader threatens DSEK’s gherao
Pressure mounts on Govt. to detach JKTF President, withdraw his ‘VIP status’
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
JAMMU, Jan 27: Even as a section of the bureaucracy is said to be “shielding and promoting” him, Government is reportedly mulling the transfer and detachment of the Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum [JKTF] President Abdul Qayoom Wani from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) at the Civil Secretariat. Wani, who has publicly called the year- 2010 IAS topper and Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Dr Shah Faesal “chocolate boy” and “Uloo ka patha”, has now threatened to gherao the office of the Head of the Department in Srinagar on January 30.
Wani, who also claims to represent 500,000 Government employees, including 1,20,000 teachers, is primarily a schoolteacher. He is currently holding the office of the incharge coordinator SSA at the Civil Secretariat where, as the head of Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC), he has uncontrolled access to the top corridors of power. If highly placed bureaucratic sources are to be believed, the proposal of Wani’s repatriation to DSEK has been moved in a chain of transfers and appointments without reference to his unparliamentary language and threatening tone and tenor against the IAS officer.
While addressing a gathering of his union’s office-bearers and teachers in Srinagar last week, Wani had bitterly assailed Dr Faesal over ordering the reshuffle of some JKTF leaders “in violation of the government’s transfer policy”. “By doing this, he has put his hand straight in the lion’s mouth”, Wani had asserted to the cheering crowd.
Proudly calling himself “a landlord’s son” and suggesting that the IAS officer was from a penurious family background, the JKTF President had further said: “He is no landlord’s son. He should tell us how he acquired properties in Kupwara and Hyderpora (Srinagar). If he doesn’t, I will reveal where his money came from”.
Following these controversial assertions, which have gone viral on social media, Commissioner-Secretary School Education Shaleen Kabra as well as Chief Secretary B.R. Sharma are said to be under pressure of the KAS and the IAS lobby to immediately terminate Wani’s access to Civil Secretariat.
“Bureaucracy has already disliked the VIP status the Chief Secretary has accorded to the former Education Minister Tara Chand’s right hand man. Sharma Sahab has not only given him free access to all the bureaucrats’ and Ministers’ offices but also made him member of some high level committees. He thinks he is another Chief Secretary”, said a senior IAS officer. He expressed apprehension that the trade union leader’s “threats and blackmail” would demoralise the public servants and make a mockery of the Governor’s administration.
Wani has called upon his union members to gherao Directorate of School Education Kashmir on January 30. However, another trade union, J&K General Line Teachers Forum on Wednesday distanced itself from Wani’s call and said that it was “nothing but sabotage to reform and innovative process initiated by Director School Education”. It dismissed the JKTF appeal as “the call of ego and arrogance” and claimed that its purpose was “to only malign the image of the Director”.
Speaking to STATE TIMES, Wani claimed that the purpose of his call was to register “protest against the transfers being made in violation of the Government’s transfer policy”. He said that two of his District Presidents had been transferred within two months of their posting even as the transfer policy did not approve such changes before the mature stay of two years”. He claimed that his objectionable remarks against the Director had been made “off the record” and said that he had no intention to hurt the HOD.
Wani said his “struggle” was against the recently invoked policies of the Government that include posting of a number of “outsiders” (KAS officers) as Joint Directors and banning of the private tuition of the government school-teachers. “We have 13 lakh students in the State. Only 5,000 are taking tuition at the centres set up at High and Higher Secondary Schools. (Former Education Minister) Naeem Akhtar and Director Education misled even the Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed. They told him lies and worked against the interests of the teachers as well as the students”, Wani said.
Wani also questioned Mr Akhtar’s decision of subjecting the RET teachers to a screening test years after they had been selected under proper procedure by successive regimes. “As far as the question of the dubious degrees and qualifications from unrecognised institutions is concerned, we have said publicly that such teachers should be terminated at once. But how can they render thousands of RET teachers jobless after years of their service?” Wani asked.
Unfazed by the JKTF threat of gherao, Dr Shah Faesal told STATE TIMES that he had started to clean up the system in his department and he would continue it without succumbing to any pulls, pressures and threats. He dismissed Wani’s allegations of corruption against him as “marks of frustration” and said that on January 30 itself he would be introducing the “Transfer Maila” from Ganderbal.
“It is an innovative governance initiative pioneered by the governments of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. We will completely eliminate the ages old touts system which has unnerved some self-styled trade union leaders who have been thriving on this business. We will be directly interacting with the teachers in the field and order transfers on the spot as per the guidelines”, Dr Faesal said.
“To begin with, I have ordered just 45 transfers, six of them today. This includes 3 or 4 so-called trade union leaders who for decades have remained posted in non-teaching DIETs. Some of them had even set up their union offices in these DIETs. They have not put in a day of teaching at a school”, Dr Faesal said.
[Published in STATE TIMES January 28, 2016]