Jammu, Apr 11 (PTI) Three dozen offices in Jammu and Kashmir’s Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department were found locked with 73 officials absent from duty during a surprise inspection in Rajouri district, an official said today.

The one-hour long inspection of the department was conducted across 10 tehsils under the supervision of additional deputy commissioners and sub-divisional magistrates involving a team of 90 officials, he said.

During the inspection, 104 centres were inspected, out of which 36 were found locked while 68 were functional. However, out of 213 employees posted at these centres as many as 73 were absent, 10 on leave and 13 on deputation for various official assignments, the official said.

The inspection was conducted in the backdrop of complaints regarding non-availability of staff for livestock treatment and healthcare. District officers of both the departments have been served notices for gross negligence, the official said, adding a committee headed by additional deputy commissioner has been constituted to initiate stringent action against the absentees.

They said the salaries of the absentee centre heads as well as controlling officers and drawing and disbursing officers have been withheld.

Meanwhile, the officials said three officers who attempted to influence the inspection team have been placed under suspension with an immediate effect. Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, said strict action is being taken against the controlling officers who failed to discharge their duties while the absentees have been summoned on April 17 for an enquiry and action under service rules.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.