Over 100 protesters arrested, released
JAMMU, Sept 6: The police arrested over 100 persons while foiling protest march of the members of All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference and Mali-cum-Chowkidars to Raj Bhawan from Press Club of Jammu today.
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A large number of AJKPC members including Sarpanchs and Panchs besides Mali-cum-Chowkidars from various Panchayats of the region, led by AJKPC president Anil Sharma assembled near Press Club of Jammu and held a meeting, followed by protest demonstration.
Later, they took out a protest march from Press Club to Raj Bhawan, but as they covered hardly 300 meters of distance, a strong contingent of police stopped them. The police arrested at least 100 protesting persons, packed them in police buses/ vans and then shifted to District Police Lines Gandhi Nagar at around 1.30 pm. They were, however, released at around 5 pm.
Earlier, addressing large gathering Anil Sharma said that at least 2200 Mali-cum-Chowkidars were appointed by the Government about 20 years ago on the condition that they will offer at least one Kanal of their land free of cost to the J&K Government for the construction of Panchayat Bhawan/ Ghar. They provided their private lands to the Government and were appointed Mali-cum-Chowkidars for the upkeep of the Panchayat Bhawan and also to assist Revenue officials including Patwaris/ Girdawars Naib Tehsildars etc for their revenue related activities.
But unfortunately they were not provided wages. Even no proper appointments were made by the Rural Development Department. These poor people are demanding that they should be appointed Permanent Daily Wagers and their wages be released. Sharma alleged that during meeting at Press Club before starting protest march, he rang up Commissioner/ Secretary RDD thrice and even tried to contact her PA on phone but there was no response at all. Then they decided to move towards Raj Bhawan to share grievances of these poor people with the Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha.