4 PHE daily-rated workers attempt suicide

In a shocking incident, four PHE daily wagers Thursday attempted to suicide by pouring kerosene on themselves in front of their senior officials.

The incident happened at the office of Executive Engineer, PHE, Surjeet Singh in Kathua where the four workers were agitating for release of their wages “pending for last five years”.

As the Executive Engineer was trying to convince the protesting workers, four daily wagers started pouring kerosene on their body, who were instantly stopped by other protestors.

Police was informed about the incident and all the four workers were taken into custody. They were identified as Kirishan Chand son of Jagdish Raj, Balvindr Singh sin of Ram Dass, Narinder Singh son of Balwan Singh and Bishamber Dass son of Shaju Ram resident of Kathua.

“They are demanding pending wages. They are absent from duty for last three months. The wages are blocked on direction from Government on the policy of ‘no work -no wages,” said Executive Engineer, Surjeet Singh.

Singh said there are around 1550 daily wagers, casual or ITI workers in PHE department in Kathua district working with them.  “The daily wagers have not received salaries across the state for last five years. The decision is to be taken up by the higher authorities,” he added.

One of the daily wagers told Greater Kashmir over phone that they had informed Deputy Commissioner Kathua and concerned PHE officials over one month ago about possible suicide attempt by some of the agitating PHE daily wagers.

“We were in shock what we learnt about the suicide attempt,” said one of PHE daily wagers told GreaterKashmir.

Meanwhile, Tanveer Hussain, PHE Daily Wager Association, president said that “From last five years, wages of the daily wagers in PHE are pending and Government, despite assurance, has not released the wages.”

Hussain said they have given a call for Srinagar Chalo on July 23 under the banner of Employees Joint Action Committee in support of the demand of the PHE workers (Daily wagers). He claimed that 23000 daily wagers/ITI/need based employees are in Jammu division and 10400 are in Kashmir valley.