An employee frm the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department in Jammu has made about $2,038,692 amid an internet shutdown in the area. The internet has been shut down in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on 5 August, due to "security concerns".
In the absence of internet connectivity, several public utility services have been affected, forcing people to queue up at the offices of these utilities to pay for services. People could not pay their water bills online and so it was being collected in cash. The field staff of the PHE department had collected around $2,038,692 but the amount was not deposited in the treasury.
An internal investigation of the department revealed that the cashier had pocketed the money rather than depositing it in the treasury. Following this, a complaint was filed against the employee with the police. An police investigation has now been initiated into the matter, according to authorities.
Field staff had submitted the amount to cashier as a routine procedure and the cashier even gave them a receipt of submission. However, the matter came to fore when senior employees did not receive the payment of bills.
While telephone services resumed in phases just days after the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in the valley, post-paid mobile phone calling services only resumed on 12 October and pre-paid connections as well as SMS services remain barred. Internet service is partly available to a select group of people, on request.