Former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away on Monday, had said, "Don't declare holiday on my death, instead work an extra day, if you love me."
However, several government employees, habitual of observing holidays following the demise of leaders, observed an holiday on their own and didn't attend offices on Tuesday considering it a holiday following the demise of former President APJ Abdul Kalam on Monday, even as the state government hadn't announced any holiday.
The situation was grimmer in educational institutions in particular, as a large number of schools were found closed during inspection by the education department officials despite there being no communication from the department in this regard.
Having got information about schools remaining closed on their own, district education officer (secondary) Amarjit Kaur ordered an inspection of the schools in the district. The officials were surprised to find that several schools were closed.
"After getting information, I also went to check the schools and found several of them closed. The school authorities took the decision on their own. I have prepared a list of schools which were found closed and the same would be sent to higher authorities," she said. Out of a total of 46 clusters under the secondary education wing in the district, schools in eight clusters were found closed.
"I had asked cluster in-charges to conduct inspection in schools. Schools in eight clusters were found closed and action would be taken against officials of those schools. In total, about 18% schools were found closed," she said. She said that there are five to six schools in each cluster which means that more than 56 schools were closed.
Though, DEO (elementary) Rajinder Singh claimed that elementary schools were open it has been learnt that several elementary schools were also closed. "There was confusion in the morning. Several of school heads asked that whether it was a holiday or not and we had to tell them it was a working day. Though, we didn't order any inspection, but schools were opened after the message spread that there was not a holiday," he said.
Sources said that the same was the situation with several other government departments and many of the employees didn't come to the office in the morning assuming it as a holiday. However, many of them came to the office after their bosses or other colleagues called them informing that it was a working day.
Deputy commissioner, Bathinda, Basant Garg didn't pick his phone despite attempts to contact him. However, additional deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma said that government employees had been conveyed properly that it wasn't a holiday and work went as usual in my and DC's office and in other offices also.