The Assam government issued a directive for the employees of higher education department, warning them against making statements or expressing opinions that criticize the administration.
Director of Higher Education, on Monday, in a directive to all the principals of government/provincialized colleges ‘requested’ to restrict the ‘government servants’ from criticizing the government under rule 7 of Assam Civil Service (conduct) rules 1965.
This comes less than a week after elementary education department officials were slapped with similar instructions; all employees, including contractual workers, were also prohibited from taking part in political activities.
The order stated, “It is brought to the notice of all concerned that under rule 7 of Assam Civil Service (conduct) rules 1965, a government servant should not make any statement of fact or opinion criticizing the government. If the government servant is found criticizing the government, he/she will held responsible for violation of rule 3 and rule 7 of Assam Civil Service (conduct) rules 1965 which will attract the appropriate provision of the Assam service (Discipline and Appeal) rules, 1964.”
It further added, “All principals of government/provincialized colleges in the state of Assam are therefore requested to ensure strict compliance of the above rules.”
Many believe these orders come in the wake of college teachers taking part in protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA.