Govt toughens stand against protesting employees

Protesting employees to court arrest today

SRINAGAR: The State Government today hardened its stand saying that there will be no compromise with the protesting employees unless they shun the path of confrontation. However, the government also extended an olive branch saying that its doors were open for employees if they want an amicable solution to their problems.

Well placed sources said that besides its set agenda, the issue of employees surfaced in the state Cabinet which met here this afternoon wherein the senior ministers of the coalition government were seen unanimous in their opinion that the government has done enough to sort out issues with protesting employees in a cordial atmosphere but now the employees should take an initiative to break the ice.

The Cabinet has also remarked that enough of opportunities were extended to employees’ leadership which was deemed as the weakness of the government. “We have to run the government and how can we let our people suffer for want of government services. We don’t want any sort of confrontation with employees and this has been our stand from the day one. But we cannot also accept if our soft approach vis-à-vis resolving the employees’ problems is taken as our weakness. We have to deal with every crisis with all options available to us,” KNS quoting an unnamed senior minister who was present at the meet today, said.  

However, the minister said there is no bar from the government side on the employees union to meet the Chief Secretary and take an initiative for resolving their problem. “As the government has briefed Legislative Assembly in detail, I don’t think there is any major demand left unaddressed except for the enhancement in retirement age. But with regard to this demand we have made it clear that government will take a decision whether to agree or disagree only after a threadbare discussions on its  implications,” the minister said.

Asked if the government wants an amicable solution to the employees’ problems, why were the leaders of Joint Consultative Committees (JCC) put behind bars, the minister said: “We had given enough of opportunities to them but it is they who compelled us to take drastic steps against them. However, all the decisions taken by the government have been taken in the interest of public,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, a city court has remanded over 50 employees who have been arrested by police for taking out protest demonstration to police custody till October 14, a spokesman of the Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) said.

Sources in EJAC said that employees are scheduled to court arrest at press enclave in Srinagar on Friday. “We are going to volunteer ourselves for court arrest tomorrow at 4 pm against the government’s rigid attitude,” the spokesman added.   

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