Alleging large scale “irregularities, omissions and commissions” in the functioning of J&K Bank, scores of JKNPP activists led by party chairman, Harsh Dev Singh, staged a protest outside the its zonal office in Jammu on Friday.
As per a statement, the protestors accused the J&K Bank authorities of “bias against Jammu region besides promoting the interests of Kashmir centric parties including PDP and NC and raised slogans seeking the appointment of a Jammu region officer as the Chairman of J&K Bank”.
Later , the statement read, while addressing the media persons, Singh said that PDP and NC were opposing the moves for declaration of the JK Bank as PSU and its inclusion under RTI in view of its alleged “massive abuse by them for their personal and political gains”.
“By appointing their favorites as JK Bank Chairmen during their respective terms in power, they had extracted huge benefits from the Bank which needed a thorough probe through on impartial agency.”
He further questioned the policy of appointing a Kashmir based officer as the Chairman of the Bank. “It is an utter disregard of Jammu based talent who were never considered for the said post.”
“With the post of Bank Chairman always going the Kashmir way, the Jammu youth continued to remain deprived by the highly biased administration while 80-90 percent recruitments were made from the valley,”he said.
He alleged that further BJP-PDP alliance was also “responsible for breeding corruption, nepotism and favouritism in the sphere of employment which had been a root cause of embitterment among the youth of Jammu region”.
Raking up the issue of aggrieved lower rung employees of the JK Bank, he alleged that hundreds of youth from Jammu region who were appointed as banking attendants, sweepers, peons, etc. on contractual basis were “obnoxiously disengaged by the bank and put on the pay rolls of M/s Sila, a private company which provided human resource to the organizations for housekeeping and maintenance of the offices”.
“While the Jammu-based employees were disengaged and out sourced, similar appointees in Kashmir were absorbed and regularized by the JK Bank in a glaring example of discrimination with the region,” he alleged.
Singh alleged that during the past four years, “several thousands of backdoor appointments had been made in the various branches of J&K Bank without notifying advertisements for the posts or following the formal recruitment process”.
“There were reports that several candidates were illegally doled jobs in the said bank on the recommendations of the ex-MLAs and Minsters of the erstwhile ruling clique at the cost of meritorious and deserving candidates who were covertly divested of the opportunity to compete. Rumours were agog that huge amount of money per candidate had exchanged hands to confer favours,” he alleged further.
Lambasting JK Bank for refusing to entertain RTI applications despite it being brought under the ambit of the Act by the orders issued by Governor recently, Singh said a that on November 26 this year NPP had approached the Regional Office of the JK Bank with an RTI application which was out rightly refused and returned.
“Through the RTI, I had sought the details of appointments made by the J&K Bank during the last four years without issuance of advertisement notifications, the details of wilful defaulters, NPAs, Bad debts, over-valued mortgages, unverified investors etc with particular reference to the role of Ministers, MLAs and top bureaucrats.”