Over 200 detained, Raj Bhawan march foiled

Protest at Div Com’s office, strike affects work

Government employees duck as police lobs coloured water cannons on them to disperse the demonstration of Government employees in Srinagar on Saturday .			                  —Excelsior/Amin War
Government employees duck as police lobs coloured water cannons on them to disperse the demonstration of Government employees in Srinagar on Saturday . —Excelsior/Amin War

Fayaz Bukhari/ Gopal Sharma
SRINAGAR/JAMMU, June 16: The police today used water canons and detained around 200 State Government employees to foil their march towards Raj Bhawan in Srinagar while most of the Government offices wore deserted look today as employees stayed away from work in response to one day strike call given by JCC across the State.
The police across Kashmir valley was on high alert to foil the employees’ march towards Raj Bhawan. As part of the four-day programme, State Government employees had planned to march to Raj Bhawan to seek Governor N N Vohra’s intervention in the implementation of the agreement which the employees have reached with the State Government.
All the city entry points in Srinagar had been sealed by police for the State Government employees to foil their march. Police was checking vehicles to stop entry of Government employees into the city.
However, a large group of employees managed to reach SK Park near Polo View. They were led by senior leaders of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) of the State Government employees including Khursheed Alam, Abdul Qayoom Wani and Mohammad Gafoor Dar.
The employees in small groups appeared at SK Park and police deployed in full strength used water canons to disperse them. Some of them who gave resistance to police were detained after scuffle.
The detained employee leaders include JCC leaders Khursheed Alam, Qayoom Wani, Shabir Hussain, Fayaz Ahmad Shabnam, Fayaz Indrabi, Manzoor Ahmad Pampori, Kulwant Singh, Ghulam Mohammad Hamdard, Shahid Hussain, Syed Aftab Ahmad Andrabi, Peer Manzoor, Ghulam Rasool Bhat, Mohammad Yaqoob Jan, Nusrat Beg, Iqbal Beg, Tasleem Rashid, Harpal Singh Pali and others.
The Government employees are demanding enhancement of the retirement age to 60 from the existing 58 years, regularisation of daily-wagers engaged after 1994 and removal of pay anomalies in the clerical cadre, besides budgetary support to Public Sector Undertakings.
In Jammu, the employees in large number assembled at Rail Head Complex and then in the form of rally moved towards the office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu. Senior JCC leaders Amrik Singh, Jaginder Singh, Ravi Singh Bhau and Rajinder Kumar were leading.
Shouting slogans in support of their demands, these employees then reached outside the office of Divisional Commissioner, Pardeep Gupta. They held demonstration there for some time. Several senior trade union leaders addressed the gathering. They condemned the rigid and confrontational attitude of the State Government and said that employees will be forced to intensify their strike programme. They demanded that retirement age be hiked, daily wagers and consolidated workers be regularized, pay anomalies be removed and PSU workers be given benefits of 6th Pay Commission.
With the strike in Jammu region today, the work in many Government offices and PSUs was affected. The general public suffered due to employees’ strike. The work in the emergency units of hospitals continued unaffected while functional staff of PHE, PDD and CAPD was exempted from the strike today. In Forest complex, Dogra Hall the protest demonstration was led by Sheikh Zaffarullah and Sukhbir Singh and others.
Reports from Doda, Kathua, Samba, Udhampur, Rajouri, Reasi, Kishtwar, Poonch and Ramban said that work in many Government offices remained affected in view of JCC sponsored strike.
Meanwhile, senior JCC leaders Alam, Wani and Dar have condemned the use of force by the State Government against the striking employees. They have threatened to intensify their agitation to force Government for the implementation of the agreement. They threatened to issue a revolutionary programme after June 19 if the Government fails to implement the agreement. JCC is meeting on June 19 to chalk out the future programme, they added.
Senior JCC leader Khursheed Alam said that government employees will intensify their agitation following confrontational attitude by the Government. He said that police arrested hundreds of employees during the four day protest programme. He said that all roads to Raj Bhawan were blocked today and raids were conducted on the houses of employees’ leaders and on the hotels in which they were staying. He condemned use of force by the police.
The day long employees strike paralysed the functioning in the Government offices. They wore deserted look across the State with employees staying away from the work. The Government schools and colleges remained closed, however, private schools were functioning normally.


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