Scores of people employed under three schemes staged a protest here on Sunday demanding revocation of the Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to re-advertise the posts they were engaged in for fresh appointments.

The government had on Friday re-advertised ‘Rehbar-e-Janglat’, Rehbar-e-Zirat’ and Rehbar-e-Khel’ posts through the Service Selection Board.

It said additional weightage and age relaxation will be given to those already working on these posts.

Scores of those employed under the schemes assembled at the Press Enclave here and held a protest demanding the rollback of the order.

”We, the Rehbar-e-Khel teachers, are protesting here because the government has ordered re-advertising the posts we were engaged in. The government has gone back on its own order which had said that our services will be made permanent after seven years,” one of the protesting employees said.

She said they demand the order’s revocation.

”Whatever work they wanted us to do, we did it. We rendered our services even during Covid. Now, they are back-stabbing us. We will stay put here and sacrifice our lives if they do not roll back the order,” said another protester.

The employees said they were to be made permanent after seven years in August this year, but unfortunately their services have been terminated and the posts are being re-advertised. ”We want the revocation of the order so that justice is done with us and our families,” said the second protester.

Meanwhile, political parties and leaders also denounced the government’s decision.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti called the order ”absurd” and demanded its rollback. She said re-advertising the posts was a malicious move initiated to facilitate non-residents’ employment in these posts.

The National Conference (NC) also denounced the lieutenant governor administration’s decision, saying the undemocratic action will further deepen the employment crisis in Jammu and Kashmir.

Its state spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said the decision is indeed a grave injustice with thousands of professionally trained youths who worked on meagre salary just relying on the hope of regularisation after five to seven years.

He said the scheme was framed by the elected governments keeping in view the alarming rate of unemployment.

”Undoing of the decisions taken by democratically elected governments by a bureaucrat setup is unfair and unjust. Such decisions have no parallel in democracies and nowhere has this happened that a few bureaucrats have usurped a decision duly approved by the state cabinet which had the sanction of the people of J-K. What this makeshift administration has done is that it has completely disregarded the decision which had people’s mandate behind it,” he said.

”Behind the fig leaf of promoting transparency, it seems that the incumbent administration is working on a plan to engage outsiders in J-K and keep the youth of J-K out of such job opportunities. By disengaging these employees at this juncture, the administration has put them, their families to undue duress and sufferings,” he added.

Expressing serious concern over the decision, CPI(M) leader Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami said after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked, the government is yet to create job opportunities. ”Instead it has announced to re-advertise Rehbar-e-Janglat, Khel, Zirat posts afresh who have been serving the government for years together. These schemes were framed in view of the rising unemployment for technically qualified youth launched by the successive governments.

”These youth had been appointed on merit basis through proper recruitment procedure. Most of them have now crossed the age limit and are not in a position to compete at this stage with the fresh pass outs in their respective fields,” he said.

The government’s decision is “unfortunate” as, instead of providing employment, it is even snatching the limited opportunities, the CPI(M) leader said, adding it should be revoked as soon as possible.

The Peoples Conference also denounced the decision and termed it absolutely wrong and unjustified.

”We are totally against this decision. Governments are about consistency and continuity. The soul and essence of governments in any democratic setup is a continuous chain of decisions which are carried on by new governments in the interest of the people. ”If every government is to challenge and undo the actions and decisions of the previous governments then it would certainly be a recipe for disaster,” party spokesperson Adnan Ashraf Mir said in a statement.