Nearly a week ago, the Directorate of School Education, Kashmir (DSEK) terminated the “services” of a teacher who had managed a fraudulent appointment order about 13 years prior. Since that time, he had been transferred around and received the due salary and other benefits. Who knows why the authorities decided to check his appointment, but it turned out to be a phoney. The authorities at DSEK may have been prompted by this, along with several other incidents that have come to light, to check the legitimacy of all the 2009 appointees in the district of Srinagar. But why only Srinagar and why only DSEK, when there may have been such appointees in every district and every department?
Even though things have improved in that regard, the fact that political appointments have a history in J&K and were once commonplace, should raise suspicion and prompt the authorities to launch a thorough process of verifying all the appointments made over the course of several decades in all J&K departments. The government has access to a wealth of technology that makes the real-time verification of all such cases even simpler; the authorities must use it and make sure that individuals, who have managed their entry into the system using anything other than merit, are identified, labelled, and expelled.
The teacher who served the department for nearly 13 years could not have managed it alone; there must have been invisible—occasionally visible—hands that pushed him and several others into the system, similar to what we observed happening in the J&K Bank in the early 1990s, where the appointments were made by the Jamaat-e-Islami, now outlawed. There is no question that one would not find such appointments in nearly all institutions and government departments throughout J&K, making the administration’s decision highly necessary.
Such appointees and those who oversaw their entry are mute, as of now; they are not even batting an eye since they are aware that they will be followed and their entry points will be identified. These appointments even received high-profile positions as a result of their ability to curry favour with powerful individuals in both the political and administrative spheres. The LG-led administration needs to start moving quickly now and hit hard.
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