Government offices deserted across JK
‘30,000 Employees Ready For Secretariat Gherao Today’
Srinagar/Jammu, May 8: Government offices wore a deserted look across the state Tuesday with the commencement of two-day strike called by employees’ Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) to press for their demands including enhancement of retirement age. However work in the civil secretariat in Srinagar was not affected.
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 demand. 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.
“The strike was successful. We hope that government takes it seriously and resolves all the matters of employees. We wanted to draw the attention from the highest corridors of power. But it seems there is no seriousness in the government for resolving our issues. Why the Chief Minister is not directing his officials to implement the agreement,” said JCC leader Khursheed Alam.
“We are being forced to go on strike. Government is responsible for the problems being faced by the public,” he said.
Alam said that government has failed to keep its promises regarding the agreement with them. “Earlier they said that they will implement it on March 30 but not a single word is coming from the government,” he said.
Alam said that every party, political leader, civil society had justified their demands “but when it comes to implementation, political leaders have double standards.”
Another JCC leader, Abdul Qayoom Wani ruled out the possibility of giving up any demand. “All the three demands are equally important to us. Why should we give up? We have documents. We have reached an agreement over all demands,” Wani said.
JCC spokesperson Farooq Ahmad Trali said that 30,000 employees were ready for secretariat gherao on May 9.
“We will come from four sides of secretariat. Employees from all the three regions of the state, who are camping in Srinagar, will participate in the gherao,” Farooq said.
The state government had constituted a committee headed by Chief Secretary Madhav Lal to make recommendations on the employees' demands.
After deliberations with the employees, the committee has submitted its report and the same is now likely to come up for discussion in the Cabinet sub-committee whose recommendations would finally be taken up for consideration by the state Cabinet.
The state government, while terming the strike as 'illogical', said the enhancement in retirement age was not a closed chapter and was still under active consideration of government.
“We have not out rightly rejected their demand of enhancement in retirement age. We are consideration it actively," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar told KNS, adding that government had met most of the JCC demands and was sincere in negotiating their other demands.
Reports from Jammu said that normal work remained suspended in most of the government offices barring essential services which were kept out of the purview of the strike.
The main protest rally was held at Press Club Jammu amid heavy deployment of police where employees from various departments assembled in large numbers to express their anger over the government’s ‘failure’ to meet their long pending demands.
Amid chanting of slogans, employees of various government departments arrived at Press Club in the shape of rallies and staged a sit-in.
Prominent among the unions were Cultural Academy Employees Association, Jammu Kashmir Employees Association, Jammu Kashmir College Employees Association, ITI Employees Association and employees from 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 others.
The protesters gave an ultimatum of 24 hours to government to concede to their demands and threatened that failing this they would intensify the ongoing stir by announcing next phase of agitation.
The employees protested against, what they said, the delaying tactics by the state government in conceding their genuine demands.
JCC leaders informed that essential services such as PHE, Power, Hospitals and sanitation have been kept out of the purview of the strike.
Addressing the protesters, veteran trade union leader and JCC spokesperson Ram Kumar Sharma said that the government has miserably failed to honour its commitment reached with the employees representatives on September 15, 2011 and compelled them to resume suspended agitation.
He said that about 4.5 lakh government employees from various government departments from Lakhanpur to Ladakh today protested against the ‘lop-sided and non serious’ government policy, besides its ‘dilly-delaying’ approach in fulfilling the agreement made with the employees representatives from time to time.
He informed that as per reports coming in from various parts of state the strike was complete and successful.
Speaking on the occasion, trade union leader Muhammad Gafoor Dar alleged that the state government has done nothing to formulate the policy for the regularization of casual, seasonal and daily rated workers among whom many are working for last over two decades. Also, there was no progress on the recommendations of the committee constituted by the government for enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years and removal of pay anomalies in different cadres, 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.
Dar said that if the government fails to respond positively to the genuine demands of employees within 24 hours, they would be forced to intensify the stir by announcing next phase of agitation.
Those who spoke on the occasion included Kulwant Singh, Amrik Singh, Balwan Singh Jamwal, Arun Moza, Moulvi Nazir Ahmad, Moulvi Muneer Ahmad, Ganesh Khajuria, Deva Anand Gill, Madan Sangral, Shahid Hussain, Jyotika Talwar, Babu Hussain Malik, Rajinder Kumar, Tanveer Shawl and Hari Singh besides others.
ABOUT 1000 EMPLOYEES LEAVE FOR SRINAGAR:
To participate in the secretariat gherao call of the JCC on May 9, its Jammu based activists left for Srinagar today led by Ram Kumar Sharma and Muhammad Gafoor Dar. They were also joined by about 200 protesters from Doda besides 180 from Rajouri and 150 from Poonch who would reach valley via Mughal Road.
Ram Kumar Sharma said that about one thousand employees from Jammu region are expected to participate in the secretariat gherao in Srinagar. WITH INPUTS FROM KNS
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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