Demanding release of withheld wages, scores of causal labourers engaged by Bhaderwah Development Authority (BDA) held a strong protest here on Thursday.
The causal labourers–both male and female–assembled at the lawns of Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) Sarna here under the banner of BDA Casual Labourers Union and Chenab Valley Workers Union (CVWU), demanding release of their wages, allegedly not paid for the last 28 months. They accused Chief Executive Officer BDA of ignoring their plight.
Protestors while raising slogans against the authorities especially CEO Dr Rajinder Prasad Khajuria for allegedly making false promises, demanded release of their pending wages at the earliest.
“We have not been paid since March 2017. We have been delivering our official duties with sincerity and honesty. Due to withholding of wages, the education of our wards has immensely suffered as we can’t pay their school fee,” said Mohammad Hafeez, President of the union.
He added that the some of the casual labourers have stopped sending their wards to schools as they were unable to pay monthly tuition fee.
The protesting labourers said that they have taken up their grievance with concerned authorities time and again but their pleas had fallen on deaf ears.
“Whenever we demand our hard earned wages, CEO disowns us saying that we are not even registered casual labourers. We have been pushed to the wall by his authoritarian attitude and compelled to start strike, which will continue till our wages are not paid,” said Mohammad Ashraf, another casual labourer.
Meanwhile, President CVWU Tariq Zargar also joined the protesting labourers and said that they have extended their support to the poor labourers and will fight tooth and nail for their cause.
Tariq Zargar appealed to the Governor Satya Pal Malik to intervene personally and direct concerned authorities to release all their pending wages forthwith.