Patna,(BiharTimes): Two employees of the Bihar Legislative Council––both award-winning writers–– have been suspended for discussing administrative red-tapism and state politics on Facebook. This is the first punishment of its kind to be meted out to any government employee in the country. What is strange is that they were not even issued show cause notice.
The government action is being strongly criticized both online and offline.
Arun Narayan and Musafir Baitha are both Assistants in the department of Hindi publication in the Bihar Legislative Council.
The suspension order was authorised by Legislative Council Chairman Tarakant Jha on September 16. It was reportedly issued at the insistence of parliamentary affairs minister in the Nitish cabinet, Brijendra Yadav.
The minister defended his step, saying he had performed the rajdharm because the two employees had violated service rules.
Reports say that no show-cause notice was served on them for their alleged misconduct of making “unparliamentarily remarks against the government” and they were summarily placed under suspension.
Narayan, author of Dastaan-e-Zindagi, a historical treatise on journalism trends in Bihar, won the best manuscript award of the state last year. He was accused of initiating a critical discussion on Facebook about the recent termination of rebel JD(U) leader and writer Prem Kumar Mani’s membership of the Bihar Legislative Council. Narayan reviews book and do analytical writings.
On the other hand Baitha is a well-known Dalit writer who earlier won Bihar’s best emerging writer award. He was accused of initiating a discussion on Facebook about how administrative lethargy in the Council had caused suffering to employees.
According to reports his application for a loan against his GPF hung fire, causing him distress, because his office had allegedly not updated his GPF records for eight of his 12 years of service.