Government sleeps as lecturers’ hunger strike enters 4th day
Protesters Begin, End Fast With Glass Of Water
Srinagar, Aug 2: There seems to be no one in the Jammu and Kashmir Government to listen to the grievances of the lecturers working on academic arrangement in colleges, even as their hunger strike entered fourth day Tuesday.
The lecturers, who have gone on strike to press for their demands, began and ended the fast by taking a glass of water. “We want to fulfil our religious obligations. So we decided to continue with fasting during the day of Ramadhan. But we shall only have a glass of water in the morning and evening,” said Parvaiz Ahmad, one among scores of lecturers on hunger strike at Press Enclave here.
“Some of our colleagues felt unconscious and were hospitalized due to acute dehydration. But we won’t give up until our demands are met,” said Sajid Ali, another lecturer.
He said there was no reason for them to break the strike. “The government gave us scores of verbal assurances till date, but they were never fulfilled,” he said.
On July 31 this year, when the lecturers decided to go on indefinite hunger strike, the Higher Education Department announced summer vacation in the colleges.
The strike by the lecturers drastically affected class-work before the vacations. “We have studied just 15 percent of our syllabus,” said a group of students from Government College for Women, MA Road.
Last week the College Lecturers Association condemned the reported statement by the Minister for Higher Education that “80 percent syllabus in the colleges stands completed.”
“It’s is highly unfortunate that wrong impression has been given by the Minister about the completion of syllabus,” the lecturers said.
Bearing scorching heat in makeshift tents, the lecturers said: “We have been observing partial strikes and sit-in protests in the past but the government always turned a deaf ear to our demands.”
The president, JK College Contractual Teachers Association (JKCCTA), Dr Muhammad Maqbool said the Government must fulfil their demands.
The JKCCTA comprises 750 contractual lecturers including those who have been serving the education department for more than 10 years.
They demand change in the nomenclature; monthly wages equivalent to the basic salary of the post they are holding; one time exemption in NET/SET; and end to the new norm of six classes per day.
“It seems the government is not bothered about education. That is why they have turned a blind eye towards our demands. We have no alternative, but to go on strike so that our plea reaches the power corridors,” Maqbool said.
The JKCCTA also warned that it would go for mass resignation if government suspends or disengages any of them from service.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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