JAMMU, Jan 20: Hundreds of Home Guards today staged a protest outside the Raj Bhavan here in support of their demands including regularization of their services and fixation of their salaries.
Carrying placards, the protesting Home Guards chanted slogans during an over hour-long sit-in demonstration during which they invited the attention of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and requested him to address their long pending demands.
“A Home Guard is paid Rs 2,700 per month in the UT of J&K which is in violation of the 2017 Supreme Court ruling that the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ has to be extended to those engaged in adhoc or contractual work,” All J&K Home Guards Welfare Association president Kamla Sharma told reporters.
She said they have been rendering their services to the Government for the last two decades and have highlighted their demands time and again, but no action was taken, forcing them to stage a sit-in here. “If our demands are not met, we will move to the union capital to stage a protest outside the Parliament during the upcoming session,” Sharma said.
Chairman Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) Babu Hussain Malik, who was leading the protest, said the Home Guards are facing injustice as they are providing their services for a meager amount which has pushed them into poverty with the future of their children at stake. “The Government must immediately implement the Minimum Wages Act in the Union Territory and also chalk out a strategy to ensure early regularization of agitating workers and casual labourers,” he said.
Malik said the Home Guards should be given a fixed salary in accordance with the Supreme Court order and other service benefits, which are being provided to their counterparts in UTs of Delhi, Pondicherry, Chandigarh and Lakshdweep.