EMPLOYEES THREATEN TO DISLODGE OMAR GOVT
Cops Foil Secretariat Gherao; Fuming JCC Calls 3-Day Strike
Srinagar/Jammu, May 9: Angered by the police action on protesting government employees in Srinagar and the continued silence of the government on their demands, Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) Wednesday threatened to launch a ‘revolution’ against Omar Abdullah government if their demands were not met.
“If people can run the government with just 12 percent votes, why can't employees with 34 percent vote share dislodge it,” senior JCC leader Muhammad Khursheed Alam told KNS this evening.
“Chief Minster is being misled by his advisers and he is inviting trouble for himself,” he threatened.
While lashing out at, what he said, imported bureaucracy, Alam said, “They want to divide the JCC leadership but the united strength of employees will defeat their designs.”
Another JCC senior leader and EJAC (Q) chairman, Abdul Qayooom Wani, accused government of playing politics on employees’ demands.
“State government is playing with fire and it will definitely burn its hands,” Wani told KNS. Earlier, dozens of government employees were arrested and around 50 injured in police action here to thwart the Secretariat gherao of JCC.
Angered by the government action, JCC has called for three-day strike from May 24 besides Secretariat gherao on May 25 and Governor’s House gherao on May 26.
Police foiled the bid of employees by deploying hundreds of personnel around the Civil Secretariat this morning who did not allow the protesters to assemble. However the employees were successful in regrouping and continued their bid to march to the Secretariat throughout the day.
Reports said that around 50 employees including two women were hospitalized for minor injuries. EJAC (Q) vice-president, Nusrat Ahmed Beigh, was among the injured.
“The call was successful. All the offices were closed. More than expected employees had come for Secretariat gherao. But we condemn the police action. They lathi-charged us and used water cannons, around thousand employees were detained by police in various police stations,” senior leader of JCC, Abdul Qayoom Wani said.
“It reflects the arrogance of the government. We fail to understand why they signed agreement at first place if they were not serious in implementing it,” he said.
Meanwhile a complete shutdown was observed in government offices across the state, except Civil Secretariat, on the JCC’s call for two day strike.
Another senior JCC leader, Khursheed Alam, criticized the government for ‘turning the city into military garrison and tightening the noose around the movement of employees’ at the entry points of Srinagar to thwart their program.
“But police failed to break the resolve of employees who despite all odds managed to reach the venue. The call was successful as more than 30,000 employees participated in the program. The motive of the gherao was to wake up the government from deep slumber over the issue,” Alam said.
Accusing the bureaucrats of creating impediments in the implementation of the agreement, Alam said, “They are using different tactics to push the agreement on the backburner. We appeal the Chief Minister to look into the matter personally. But even if he fails to take action let them face a massive agitation then.”
JCC has given a three-day call of shutdown of government offices from May 24, Secretariat gherao on May 25 and Governor’s House gherao on May 26.
Taking to Greater Kashmir, JCC spokesperson Farooq Ahmed Trali said, “Given the non-serious attitude of the government we have again decided to go for three-day strike on May 24, 25 and 26. However we hope that government will implement the agreement before that.”
Reports said that more than four lakh government employees boycotted work across the three regions of the state to press for the implementation of September 2010 agreement with the government on their demands. Besides enhancement of retirement age from present 58 years to 60 years, the employees are demanding release of pay arrears and regularization of daily wagers and contractual staff working since 1994.
All the government employees of Kargil also remained on strike under the banner of Employees Joint Action Committee Kargil in support of their demands. All the government establishments including schools, hospital and degree college remained closed.
Later the Executive Body along with President EJAC Kargil Muhammad Mukhtar Khan met with the Chairman and Chief Executive Councilor LAHDC Kargil Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan and the Deputy Commissioner Kargil M Raju and presented a memorandum of their demands.
Main opposition party Peoples Democratic Party has condemned use of force against state government employees.
In a statement, the PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said, “Use of brute force is the preferred method of dealing with any situation for the Omar Abdullah-led government. It was unfortunate as much as disastrous for the state that the government has not been able to convince its own employees about its intentions and policies towards their welfare. Ever since the present government assumed the charge it is on a war path with every section of the society and not even its own employees are satisfied with the condition of their working,” he said.
State Forest Corporation Employees Association headed by Haji Bashir Ahmad and divisional president Sales North Khurshid Ahmad Masoodi with their members also participated in the Secretariat gherao.
In Jammu, work remained affected in Cultural Academy, colleges, ITIs, Social Welfare Department, Wild Life Department, Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department, Office Stores and Supplies Department, JMC Town Hall, Jammu offices of Custodian Department, Estates department, and Stationary Department besides other government departments.
As per statement issued by the Jammu Kashmir Teachers Forum, the striking teachers and masters have condemned the ‘callous and unheeding’ attitude of the state government towards mitigating the genuine demands of the government employees.
The Forum also informed that about 60 activists led by its general secretary are in Srinagar to participate in the protests.
Government employees of Chenab Valley region under the banner of EJAC held protest demonstration at General Bus Stand Doda in favour of their demands. The protesters were led by Fareed Ahmed Fani, Syed Zakir Peer, Nisar Ahmed Banday, Ghulam Nabi, Barkat Ali and Hoshiyar Singh.
The employees also took out a rally from Dak Bungalow Doda which passed through main bazars amid chanting of slogans against the state government.
Meanwhile, state government on Wednesday expressed its readiness to hold negotiations with JCC leadership said that employees were the part of the society. “They are part of our society and we can't ignore them," MoS Home, Nasir Aslam Wani told KNS, adding that government was always in favor of friendly relations with employees.
He added that though most of the demands have already been met, however government was ready to meet the other demands through mutual consensus. Nasir however appealed employees to avoid confrontation.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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