Police foils SC/ST employees’ protest march to Sectt

SC, ST, OBC employees taking out protest rally in Jammu on Monday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
SC, ST, OBC employees taking out protest rally in Jammu on Monday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 16:  The police today foiled the protest march of the SC, ST and OBC employees to Civil Secretariat here today.
The employees of reserved categories under the banner of All India Confederation of SC/ST/OBC Organizations led by its president , RK Kalsotra assembled near Press Club and then started `Assembly Gherao’ march from Dogra Chowk,  in the wake of failure of the State Government to meet its charter of demands submitted earlier in November 2016.
Braving inclement weather, the employees from various tehsils joined the protest march and moved towards secretariat. Dr Krishan Bhagat, MLA Khour and RS Pathania, MLA Ramnagar joined procession on the way. There is great resentment among the category employees against the Govt.
They were demanding  restoration of reservation in promotions, clearing backlog of vacancies through special recruitment drive, 27 % reservation for OBCs, state budgetary allocation for special component plan for SCs and STs and adequate utilization thereof  along with provisions for accountability as well as  stoppage of diversion thereof for general purposes, providing shelter homes to the nomads, political reservation to Scheduled Tribes etc.
Kalsotra expressed anguish over the casual manner in which the Government had taken the charter of demands submitted by the Confederation. He said that the public expected  the incumbent Chief Minister to have stepped into the shoes of her late father whose ideology and political vision led to passing of Reservation Act, 2004 but the same was quashed by  High Court to the extent of reservation in promotions and this stalemate could have been resolved by the present Government by using its powers of legislation. But nothing happened.
The MLAs also addressed the gathering. Near Indira Chowk, the strong police contingent raised the barricades and stopped their movement ahead. Their protest rally was foiled by cops and the employees dispersed.
Senior trade unionists,  BL Bhardwaj, Ch Mohd Shafi, Romesh Sarmal, Nazakat Khatana, Bansi Lal Choudhary, Saber Choudhary, Brij Mehra and Amar Nath Bhagat also spoke on the occasion.