Police crosses limit of brutality to foil NHM employees’ march

Crossing limits of brutality, a policeman cane-charging peacefully protesting women NHM employees near MLAs Hostel in Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Crossing limits of brutality, a policeman cane-charging peacefully protesting women NHM employees near MLAs Hostel in Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Govind Sharma

JAMMU, Jan 9: Around 100 people including employees of National Health Mission (NHM) and police personnel were injured today in a clash between police and protesting NHM employees near MLAs’ Hostel, where police crossed every limit of brutality to foil NHM employees’ march towards Civil Secretariat and cane charged not only protesting employees but also passersby. Click here to watch video
Carrying placards and shouting slogans in support of their demand of regularization of their jobs, thousands of NHM employees including employees of Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), J&K State AIDS Control Society (JKSACS) and other health schemes this afternoon took out a protest rally and marched towards the Civil Secretariat, where the district administration had already imposed Section 144 of CrPC as preventive measure.
As the protesting employees reached near MLAs’ Hostel, a strong contingent of police restricted them from going ahead but when the angry employees attempt to move forward forcefully, the police resorted to brutal lathicharge and fired teargas to disperse the protestors.
According to SSP Jammu, Vivek Gupta, several civilians were injured in the clash and resultant stampede. He said about 17 police personnel (14 male and 3 female) including SHO Bus Stand, Inspector Rajesh Jasrotia, also got injured in the clash.
However, this did not deter the employees and amid anti-Government slogans they staged a sit-in protest at Shalamar Chowk, due to which vehicular traffic came to halt in old city area. While addressing the protestors as well as media persons at Shalamar Chowk, president of NHM Employees’ Association, Rohit Seth, said that they were peacefully protesting but on the instructions of their political masters, police brutally cane charged the innocent employees and even did not spare the women. He alleged that even women employees were made to run and cane-charged by the male police officials. He further informed that over 80 employees (mostly women) were injured in brutal lathicharge by the police.
“We are on strike for last 21 days but instead of considering our genuine demand, Government is doing every effort to suppress our voice, which is evident from today’s brutal lathi-charge by the police on peacefully protesting employees”, he said, adding, these type of suppressing measures by the Government will not work but will give the NHM employees more energy to fight for their genuine demands.
Chief spokesperson, Joint Action Coordination Committee, Faizan A Tramboo, said that Government should consider the genuine demands of NHM employees on priority basis instead of giving them inhuman treatment. He criticized the Government for use of police force to suppress the voice of the employees and questioned whether there is any Human Rights Commission in the State or not to take cognizance of the brutal lathicharge on female NHM employees.
“We are not going to suspend the strike unless and until our genuine demands are accepted by the State Government in writing with complete acceptance in a time bound manner”, he said.
Meanwhile, Jammu Kashmir Medical Employees Federation (JKMEF) has condemned the brutal lathicharge and usage of teargas shells on peacefully protesting NHM workers. Expressing deep concern over the brutal lathicarge in which over 80 NHM workers were injured, Sushil Sudan, president, JKMEF, demanded strict action against the police officials involved in brutal lathicharge.
Sudan said that the slogan of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ given by Prime Minister was totally violated today by Jammu and Kashmir Police, which surpasses every brutality in beating the female NHM employees.
He said that JKMEF and all its sister organizations are left with no other option and being forced to start struggle in support of protesting NHM employees, who are also working round the clock for making Health Services better and advanced.


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