Jammu, Feb 21: Police on Monday resorted to a mild lathi-charge against hundreds of agitating daily-wager employees of Jal Shakti Department when they sought to reach Union Minister Jitendra Singh's residence here as part of protest for regularisation of their jobs.
No one, however, was injured in police action, officials said.
The workers who assembled under the banner of Public Health Engineering (PHE) Employee's United Front moved towards Singh's Gandhi Nagar residence, chanting slogans against the minister, Lt Governor-led administration and the BJP for their alleged failure to regularise their services.
A strong police posse, deployed outside the minister's residence, prevented the agitating workers to reach near the house, using a mild baton charge, the officials said, adding no one was injured in police action.
Over 60,000 daily wagers, casual labourers and other workers who are working in various departments for over the past two decades have been regularly holding protests in both Jammu and Srinagar in support of their long-pending demands including regularisation and release of pending wages.
We are fed up with the rigid and anti-employee attitude of this government. The BJP leaders only befooled us and did nothing to resolve our long pending demands, one of the protesters, Balwinder Bahel, said.
He said they had come to meet the minister, who is visiting his Udhampur constituency of J&K, to raise their issues.
Condemning the police action, Bahel said they will intensify their agitation if the promises made to them are not fulfilled forthwith.
I have been working in the department for the last nearly three decades with a hope that my services will be regularised one day. We are being paid meagre wages and that too are not being paid on a monthly basis as a result of which we are forced to live a pathetic life, another protester Bodh Raj said.
The protesters, who had come from different districts of the Jammu region, staged a sit-in and later dispersed peacefully.