Rival Employee Groups’ March Foiled

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Beig, Khan Among Scores Held

Srinagar – The police on Saturday foiled the protest march taken out by the Employees Joint Action Committee to press their demands for regularization of daily wagers and release of 6th Pay Commission arrears. Over a score of protesters, including their leaders, were detained.

Slogan-shouting supporters carrying placards against the state and central governments had assembled near the Press Enclave around noon and begun marching up the street when they ran into police resistance. The police picked up Conference chief, Ishtiyaq Ahmad Beig, and EJAC-K spokesman, Aijaz Ahmad Khan, along with a score of employees to break up the procession.

Talking to reporters, Beig said that the Committee wanted to give a new direction to the trade union movement in the state away from the politics of hartal. “Taking advantage of the past two decades of turmoil, some elements have foisted themselves on the 4.5 lakh state government employees and taken them for a ride while amassing wealth and assets worth billions for themselves,” he said.

“The agreement the government has entered into with employees on their demands is a crude joke because it has not been fulfilled even after the lapse of over a year,” he said.

Speaking to mediapersons, Aijaz Ahmad Khan said inflation had broken the back of the common man but the coalition government was not able to address the grievances of thousands of daily wagers across the state.

On the one side, he said, the coalition was increasing the price of essential commodities but on other hand they failed to provide what is due to employees. “Release of arrears and regularization of 85 employees are two burning issues of the state employees which the government should resolve immediately,” he said.

Khan said they would up the ante against the government, if it failed to meet their demands. “The government has left us no option but to launch massive agitation across the state which unfortunately will hamper the normal functioning of departments”, he said.

He castigated the state government for not increasing the cap on LPG. “They cannot be insensitive to the sufferings of the common man. They are accountable to people and in the upcoming elections they will be elected on the basis of their performance.

Asserting that the EJAC Kashmir would continue its struggle for the employees’ rights in a peaceful way, Khan urged the government to accept their demand forthwith.

Later, dozens of state employees including Khan were arrested at Press Enclave by the police as they tried to march towards Lal Chowk.

Similar protests were held by EJAC, Jammu wing, reports said.

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