Srinagar, Mar 19 : Lockout of all the offices of Information department across Jammu and Kashmir in protest against the suspension and attachment of an assistant information officer by Deputy Commissioner Kupwara has triggered a huge crisis in mid election season when the notification for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls has been issued by the Election Commission of India.
Information Employees Association president Shabir Ahmad said, “Following the transfer of district information officer Kupwara, the Director Information department had given the charge of DIO Kupwara to senior most AIO Basheer Ahmad Sofi having 30 years of service in the information department but DC Kupwara while trespassing institutional jurisdiction in exercise of his powers suspended Basheer Ahmad Sofi, the Assistant Information Officer for holding the charge of DIO Kupwara under the orders of Director Information and attached him with the district election office.
Surprisingly DC Kupwara without bringing the matter into the notice of Director Information asked Assistant Director Handicrafts, a junior KAS officer to hold the charge of DIO Kupwara. To protest the institutional trespassing in exercise of his powers by DC Kupwara we have locked all offices of the Information Department including the offices of director information, joint director information Kashmir and Jammu and all district information offices and the lockout will continue till the order is revoked.”
When contacted Deputy Commissioner Kupwara Anshul Garg told “I am just following the guidelines of election commission of India which empowers me to take all the decision for smooth running of the election related work in the district.
I have suspended Assistant Information Officer and given the charge to assistant director handicrafts not today but last month. If chief electoral officer asks me to revoke the order I have no issues as every action is subject to scrutiny by the chief electoral officer and the election commission of India. (KNS)