Opposition stages walk out
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Mar 10: Entire opposition minus Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday staged walkout from the Assembly to protest government’s “unsatisfactory reply” to a question regarding regularization of Special Police Officers (SPOs) and Village Defence Committee (VDC) members.
The House also witnessed a verbal spat between MLA Langate, Engineer Abdul Rashid and Panthers Party MLA from Udhampur, Balwant Singh Mankotia with the former demanding disbanding of VDCs in the state.
It all happened when the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ali Muhammad Sagar was responding to Mankotia’s question on whether the government intends to increase the amount of remuneration being paid to the VDCs and SPOs.
The Minister said that in view of the voluntary nature of service no remuneration/honorarium is being paid to the members of VDC.
“However, SPOs working in the VDCs are being paid honorarium on the same rate as is being paid to other SPOs. A proposal for enhancement of honorarium in respect of SPO’s from the existing Rs 3000 per month to Rs 5000 per month stands taken up with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the response is awaited,” the minister informed the House.
Mankotia said VDCs have played crucial role in fighting militancy and asked whether the government has any policy to strengthen the VDCs.
He demanded that they should be paid Rs 10000 per month keeping in view the inflation. “Hundreds of VDC members met me and they apprised about their problems. They are committing suicides and if immediate measures are not taken, it would have serious repercussions,” he warned and remarked, “It may also revive the militancy and their guns may also change their directions.”
The Minister said the government is serious about the issues of SPOs and VDCs and a proposal has already been sent to the Government of India for enhancement of the monthly wages of SPOs. He said after receiving the approval from the Centre, the honorarium of SPOs would be enhanced.
PDP’s Nizam-ud-Bhat said the VDC members had also been supporting the security agencies in surgical operations. “Whether the government has brought into the notice of Government of India these things,” he asked.
Congress MLA from Doda, Abdul Majid Wani also endorsed the legislators’ concern about the VDC members and warned that the government will be responsible if there is any revival of militancy.
Leader of Panthers Legislature Party, Harsh Dev Singh demanded that there should be homogeneity in the pay grades of SPOs appointed in these VDCs and those who are working in police department.
He also questioned why SRO-43 is not applicable for VDC members in case they are killed in anti-militancy operations.
Similarly, the BJP MLA from Basohli and MLA Gurez, Nazir Ahmed Gurezi supported the viewpoints of the legislators.
G M Saroori also demanded enhancement of the monthly wages of SPOs deputed in VDCs from Rs 3000 to Rs 6000.
MLA Kulgam, MY Tarigami said that there must be the provision of bringing the next kin of VDCs members under SRO-43 and casual leave for them.
The Minister, however, said that the engagement of SPOs is purely temporary in nature, adding that the government has formulated a comprehensive policy for their absorption as constables or followers upto the extent of 15 percent of the available vacancies on the grounds fixed by the government.
He underscored the need for formulation of rules and regulations for safeguarding the service rights of SPOs
MLA Langate, however, opposed the demand of strengthening of VDCs and shouted, “We don’t want VDCs.”
The BJP, Panthers and JSM legislators started raising slogans like “VDCs Ko Regularize Karo”, “SPOs Ko Regularize Karo” etc and they staged a walk out from the House.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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