Employees strike paralyses work in government offices
Protesters Beaten, Arrested; JCC Calls Secretariat Gherao On May 9
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar/Jammu, Apr 17: Work in government offices across Jammu and Kashmir was affected Tuesday as state employees struck work and took to streets to press for their demands including regularization of daily wagers and enhancement in retirement age. Police beat and arrested dozens of employees in Srinagar foiling the march of Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), an amalgam of several employees’ associations. The amalgam has called for lockdown of government offices on May 8 and Secretariat Gherao on May 9 if their demands are not met.
Hundreds of employees under the banner of JCC tried to march from Exhibition Ground to Civil Secretariat Srinagar, however hundreds of police men swung into action and thrashed the employees. Police also used water cannons and arrested many employees.
Work in government offices was affected due to the strike called by JCC.
JCC leader Abdul Qayoom Wani said the rally was successful despite the government preventing thousands of employees from reaching the venue.
“Nakas were set up on every road and district headquarters leading to Srinagar city to stop employees from joining the rally. Police also took away documents of private vehicle owners at many places to prevent them from moving to Srinagar,” Wani said.
Khursheed Alam, President of EJAC (K), one of the main constituents of JCC, told reporters that committee headed by Chief Secretary was formed to report on the enhancement of retirement age but they have failed to submit the report till date. “Though we stood by the agreement and remained peaceful and did not resort to any protests but no report has been submitted till date by the committee and our demands continue to remain unfulfilled,” he said.
Intensifying the agitation, JCC has called for lockdown of government offices on May 8 and Secretariat Gherao on May 9.
"We will hold a peaceful demonstration outside the civil secretariat in Srinagar on May 7 and if our demands are not met till then, we will observe strike on May 8 and May 9," said Abdul Qayoom Wani.
The state government employees have been demanding enhancement of retirement age from the existing 58 to 60 years, modalities for regularization of daily wagers besides rectification of pay anomalies.
“Police action won’t deter us. We will continue fight for our rights. Police arrested many employees including our leaders. They are presently lodged in different police stations of the city,” a JCC spokesperson said.
"The state government is backing out of a written agreement with us but we will not allow this to happen," he added.
The state wide strike call evoked mixed response from the employees of Jammu region.
While the normal work remained suspended in some districts, the effect of strike was partial in Jammu and many other districts.
Impact of employees strike was seen in JMC Town Hall, Jammu offices of Custodian Department, Estates department, ITIs, Animal and Sheep Husbandry department, Stationary department but there was little impact on working of Health department, PDD, PHE, besides other government departments.
Further, eyewitnesses said that with Civil Secretariat Non-Gazetted Employees Union and Government Employees Joint Action Committee (GEJAC) distancing itself from the call, the strike could not make full impact on the functioning of government offices.
The Joint Consultative Committee staged protest at Press Club Jammu.
Speaking on the occasion, veteran trade union leader, Ram Kumar Sharma, said that the government has miserably failed to honour its commitment in letter and spirit and compelled the employees for revival of suspended agitation.
Ram Kumar Sharma said about 4.5 lakhs government employees from various government departments from Lakhanpur to Ladakh today protested against the ‘lop-sided, non serious and dilly-delaying’ tactics of the state government in fulfilling the agreement made with the employees representatives from time to time on February 19, 2009, May 14, 2010 and September 15, 2011. He informed that as per reports coming in from various parts of state, the strike was complete and successful.
He alleged that the state government has done nothing to formulate the policy for the regularization of casual, seasonal and daily rated workers who are working over decades. Also committee constituted by the government for enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years and removal of pay anomalies in different cadres has done nothing, he added.
“Moreover the public sector employees are being deprived of sixth pay commission arrears and DA linking it with profit and loss. Although these losses are being incurred by these PSU undertakings due to the mismanagement and negligence of ruling politicians, bureaucrats and team of managing directors,” he said and demanded that since the workers are in no way instrumental in the losses incurred, the budgetary support for the release of 6th pay commission arrears and DA of these employees should be made irrespective of profit or loss of the PSU units.
The striking employees unanimously passed three resolutions i.e. government should implement the agreement reached at between government and JCC without further delay, JCC will observe two-day state wide token strike on May 8-9, 2012 and reinstatement of the disbanded home guards by withdrawing their termination orders.
Those present on the occasion included Muhammad Gafoor Dar, Kulwant Singh, Amrik Singh, Balwan Singh Jamwal, Arun Moza, Ganesh Khajuria, Deva Nanad Gill, Rajinder Kumar and Hari Singh besides others.
Meanwhile, on the call of JCC, the Employees Joint Action Committee (Khurshed Alam Group) organized protest demonstration at Town Hall Jammu. The strike paralysed working of JMC.
Prominent among those present included Dev Anand Gill, Balwinder Singh, Anil Mehta, Ravi Singh Bhau, Dharminder Singh, Raju Kumar, Surjit Singh, Ashwani Kumar, Ashok Dutta, Paramjeet Singh, Amrik Singh, Vijay Pal, Bansi lal, Vivek sood, Parshotam Sharma, Balbir Rahi, RK Sharma, Ravi Kumar, GR Sagar, Rohit George, Kirpal Singh and Virender Singh besides others.
Normal work also remained suspended in all government offices in Ramban district.
The employees of the district staged a sit-in in front of the DC office complex Ramban. The employees leaders lambasted the government for adopting delaying tactics in conceding the demands of the state employees. They also blamed the government of trying to create a wedge among the employees and said they would fight any such attempt tooth and nail.
The demand for raising the retirement age for the state government employees has become a ticklish issue as those opposed to the move assert it would result in a two-year moratorium on government employment. This, they point out, would add to the swelling numbers of unemployed youths in the state.
However, those favouring the move maintain that once the retirement age is raised and superannuation is halted for two years, the state government would save millions of rupees that could be used for creating more jobs and speeding up the pace of development in the state.
PDP CONDEMNS USE OF FORCE:
Strongly condemning use of force on agitating government employees, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today observed that using strong arms method to suppress genuine voice of the people has become a policy of the present regime headed by Omar Abdullah.
Party observed that government employees were protesting peacefully for their long pending genuine demands but forced was used against them without any provocation.
In a statement issued here today, chief spokesman of PDP Naeem Akther regretted that instead of adopting a holistic approach to address genuine problems, the State Government always adopts oppressive measures to muzzle voice of people. He warned that such policy of the government would prove disastrous for the State.
“Using strong arm method has becoming a policy matter of this regime”, he maintained and pointed out that today’s incident was another example of the repressive policy of the present dispensation.
Akther said that it was all due to the oppressive policy of the coalition regime that alienation has been increasing among all sections of the society. He further said that government employees, be it daily wagers, casual or regular, have been agitating for one or other issue but the government was not serious to address their genuine demands.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 17 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 17 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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