JCC extends strike till Apr 19
'Schools To Function From 8.30 am to 12.30 pm'
Srinagar, Apr 12: With the striking employees and government sticking to their position, the continuous strike of the government employees entered its 10th day on Monday. The Joint Consultative Committee, spearheading the employees’ agitation, meanwhile, extended the strike till April 17 while the J&K EJAC (collective leadership) has asked the employees to abstain from work till April 19.
The day began with EJAC’s scheduled protest rally in Lal Chowk. Despite restrictions few hundred employees managed to reach the city centre Lal Chowk where police swung into action and arrested at least six of them. A spokesman of the J&K EJAC said that several employees including Rafiq Ahmad Khanyari and Syed Ghulam Rasool Geelani were injured in police action.
Sources said that Khanyari and Geelani have been sent to judicial remand till April 27 and they were shifted to Central Jail Srinagar. “Both were first referred to Bone Joints Hospital for medical check-up,” they said.
The J&K EJAC leader Gulzar Ahmad Banday while strongly condemning the police action said the strike has been extended till April 19.
The Joint Consultative Committee member and EJAC (K) president, Khursheed Alam, and acting president EJAC (Q), Fayaz Shabnam told Greater Kashmir that they have decided to extend the strike till April 17. “We have decided that in the interest of students, schools will remain open from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm daily. Teachers will attend the schools but won’t mark their attendance in protest.”
Another JCC leader Abdul Salam Rajpori said that on April 17, there would be power shutdown from 8 to 9 pm. “As a token protest there will be one hour power shut down across the Valley on April 17 and if the strike continues the power supply could also get affected,” he said.
However, the leaders warned that in case their demands weren’t met till April 17, and ‘onslaught’ stopped, essential services would also be brought under the ambit of the strike. “Let the government terminate the employees’ leaders. We won’t be cowed down by such threats. There are two parallel governments, one is offering talks and another is on the onslaught against employees. Talks and onslaught can’t go together,” the JCC leaders warned.
They said that the employees’ leaders including EJAC (Q) president, Abdul Qayoom Wani, detained during the past week were being denied basic facilities in jails.
About 4.5 lakh government employees are on strike since April 3, demanding sixth pay commission arrears and increase in their retirement age from 58 years to 60.
The state government says it doesn’t have the money to pay a whopping Rs 4,200 crore in arrears. And though the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) has been invoked in the state, the employees refuse to budge. Sources say hectic efforts are on to break the deadlock and find an amicable solution.
After invoking Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) last Monday, the government has now threatened to terminate the services of those employees who do not report for duty immediately.
Meanwhile, the J&K daily-wagers Joint Action Forum has strongly condemned the police action on J&K EJAC rally at Lal Chowk. In a statement, General Secretary of the Forum, S Umar Bhat, said, “Such highhandedness by the government shows that how much they are bothered about the welfare of people of the state.”
Electrical Employees Union President, Abdul Salam Rajpori and its General Secretary, Manzoor Ahmad, while condemning the police action said, “On one hand government says it is ready to talks with striking employees while on the other it has unleashed a reign of terror. EJAC (Q) president Abdul Qayoom Wani has been detained with criminals.”
PRIVATE PARA-MEDICOS ENGAGED
Minister for Medical Education, Prof R S Chib today said services of the para-medics from some private para-medical institutes have been acquired on voluntarily basis to treat patients in GMC and Associated Hospitals in Jammu.
Announcing this at a Press Conference here today, Prof. Chib said the same procedure will be put-in place in GMC Srinagar and Associated Hospitals in Srinagar also.
Prof Chib said that employees engaged on adhoc, contractual, consolidated and need basis from Hospital Development Fund (HDF) have resumed their duties and hoped that the rest of the employees would also join at the earliest.
Minister of State for Health and Medical Education Javaid Ahmad Dar directed Chief Medical Officers of Kashmir province to ensure normal functioning of health institutions under their jurisdiction for optimum patient care and remain available at their respective headquarters.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES NORMAL
According to Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Naseem Lankar all the essential services including health services and educational institutions remained open with adequate staff and were functioning normally. She said the Minister for School Education, Peerzada Mohammad Sayed, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Ali Muhammad Sagar, and Minister of State for Health and R&B, Mr. Javaid Ahmad Dar reviewed the functioning of their respective departments. Minister for Sheep and Animal Husbandry, Agha Rohullah reviewed the functioning of offices at Budgam.
Regarding CA&PD, the Divisional Commissioner said the concerned authorities have been directed to dispatch and distribute food grains to the people through trucks also were fair price shops or ration ghats are not available.
Regarding educational institutions, she said all the colleges are functioning as usual and most of the educational institutions remained open and functional. “The Minister for School Education, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed inspected various schools and also ordered action against the absentees,” she said.
She said sanitation work on various roads is also going apace.
Lankar said the contingency plan under implementation is being supervised closely so that people do not confront any problem.
DC VARMUL VISITS OFFICES
While the Deputy Commissioner Varmul visited number of offices in the district but his own office wore a deserted look with all the employees observing strike.
SYED AMJAD SHAH ADDS FROM JAMMU: A ‘complete lockout’ Monday was observed across Jammu province, amid protest demonstrations in and around the winter capital.
Despite presence of strong contingent of police in all the hospitals and government departments, employees held protest demonstrations seeking release of the arrears of six pay commission and enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years.
Indicating that the ongoing strike could go ‘indefinite’ after April 19 if the government continues its ‘autocratic attitude’ towards the employees, senior EJAC leader Balwan Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir that: “We welcome the offer of talks by the chief minister Omar Abdullah but the government should first release the detained leaders and revoke repressive Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).”
Meanwhile, seeking release of all the detained employee’s leaders, Jammu and Kashmir Nursing Association (JKNA) - a constituent of the Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) - Monday warned that if the detained leaders were not released, they would be compelled to suspend ‘emergency services’ in the government hospitals in protest.
7 DETAINED UNDER ESMA
Amid lockout and protest demonstrations across Jammu province, seven employees have been reportedly detained under ESMA in the hilly districts of Kishtwar and Ramban.
“Six government employees were arrested under ESMA by police at Kishtwar town, when they were protesting in support of their demands,” sources said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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