Cops foil Secretariat gherao

Employees Boycott Work

ZAHID MAQBOOL

Srinagar/Jammu, June 13: With the arrest of around 200 Government employees, police on Wednesday foiled the Secretariat gherao called by Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) to press for their demands including enhancement in retirement age.
Hundreds of employees led by senior JCC leader Khursheed Alam marched towards Civil Secretariat from CAPD office Shaheed Gunj here. However police personnel deployed in huge numbers near Old Secretariat used water cannons to stop them from proceeding further. About 200 employees were arrested.
Work in Government offices was paralyzed as employees observed a pen-down strike.
Taking to Greater Kashmir, Khursheed Alam said, “They can’t deter us by using lathi-charge and water cannons on employees. The use of force was totally unjustified. It should be condemned by one and all. One of our employees, Tasleema Rashid, was injured and was later shifted to SMHS Hospital by police. Police arrested 268 employees and lodged them in Shaheed Gunj, Safa Kadal, Ram Munshi Bagh and other police stations.” He said that today’s action by Government proved that it is in no mood to solve the issue.
“We resumed our agitation after 20 days so that Government will solve the issue. Now it is clear who wants confrontation,” Alam said.
Earlier Alam while addressing the gathering of employees at CAPD office accused the Government of creating British rule like situation in J&K. “The situation is same as was in British rule. In those days also outsiders were getting more benefits than natives. Here the IAS officers from outside the state retire at the age of 60 and we are forced to retire at 58.”
Accusing the Government of engineering divide in the society, Alam said, “They are creating a divide in the society between unemployed youth and employees. But we will not allow that to happen.”
Secretariat gherao led by Khursheed Alam was part of the JCC’s four-phase program starting Wednesday. According to the program, another senior JCC leader Abdul Qayoom Wani will lead the employees for Secretariat gherao on Thursday.
EJAC (Q) vice-president Nusrat Ahmad Beigh has strongly condemned the police action against peacefully protesting employees. He appealed to the office-bearers of all the constituents of EJAC (Q) to participate in the Thursday’s protest demonstrations to press for the employees’ demands.
The work in Government offices across Jammu region was also affected as the employees boycotted work and staged protest demonstrations in response to the Joint Consultative Committee’s four-day agitation call.
In Jammu, the main protest demonstration was held in front of Deputy Commissioner’s Office wherein hundreds of government and public sector employees assembled around 11: 30 am and staged a sit-in amid shouting of anti-Government slogans.
The demonstration held under the banner of Jammu and Kashmir Government Employees Joint Action Committee (K) with participation of several other employees’ unions including Education, Sheep and Husbandry, Jammu Municipal Corporation, Rural Development Department, Public Works Department was led by its Provincial President Kulwant Singh.
Protesting employees carrying banners and placards inscribed with their demands were shouting slogans ‘Agreement Ko Laggu Karo, Daily Wager Ko Pacca Karo’. The protest lasted for one hour.
The demands highlighted by the protestors included policy for regularization of casual, seasonal and daily rated workers who have completed seven years of services after 1994, enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years, removal of pay anomalies of different cadre and disparity of clerical cadre and pay scale of 6500 to 10500, release of 6th pay commission arrears and DA in favour of PSU employees. Later members of the organization submitted a memorandum to Governor NN Vohara through DC Jammu Sajeev Verma.
Although the protests were held across the region, work in majority of offices of the region was affected partially as after staging protest demonstration employees of various departments went back to their work in the afternoon.
Addressing the gathering, Kulwant Singh said, “State Government has betrayed the employees by not implementing agreement signed between Government and JCC leadership on September 15, 2011, and due to non-serious approach of the Government, the employees have been forced to go on strike again.” He condemned the use of force on employees in Srinagar.
Giving details about the strike program in Jammu, Kulwant Singh said, “We are not observing pen down strike today as after registering our protest we will go back to our work and next two days no protest will be observe but on June 16 all employees of Jammu region will go on ‘Kam Chod Hartal’ and hold a protest in front of Divisional Commissioner Office.”

Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST




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