NHM Employees Teargassed, Dozens Arrested, Injured

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SRINAGAR: J&K Police on Tuesday resorted to pepper gas spray on the NHM employees and arrested dozens. The NHM employees were on strike for the 7th consecutive day today outside the Press Enclave Srinagar demanding regularization and redressal of other demands.

The employees said that the police used “indecent and abusive language” with the women employees who were on a peaceful strike at Pratap Park and showered water to disperse the protesters on which the women employees felt embarrassed.

Reports said that many employees were arrested during a peaceful protest police swung into action and arrested many of them including its president, spokesperson and other NHM employees.

NHM employees said that they are highly qualified doctors, consultants and are being considered as the cream of the society. The doctors condemned the police action on them.

“It is sheer injustice to us that Government is using brutal force over us to suppress us to overlook our genuine demands that are long pending,” said one of the protestors, Dr Shabir Ahmad.

Women employees also expressed resentment over the action of male police on them. “Despite the women police available in police stations, we are being dealt by male police officials who are resorting to indecent behaviour with us,” said another protestor Rafiqa Lolabi.

“It was a peaceful protest but police used water canning and sprayed pepper gas and used lathi-charge in which dozens of employees were injured some are critical due to the constant beating over their body by police during the protest,” she added.

NHM employees further said they have not received any response from authorities even after being on protest for past many days.

The protestors said that until the administration will not fulfil the demands of the employees, “the strike will continue till the last breath”.

“We will never call off our strike until we will not receive any strong response and assurance from the government of regularizing our services and fulfilling of our other genuine demands,” said a protestor Dr Ab Rashid. (PTK)

Geelani, EJAC Condemn Use Of Force

All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday condemned use of brutal force and cane charge on employees of the NHM by police. “The protest of these employees for their just demands exposed the pro-people and pro-democratic claims of the ruling class and unmasked their cruel anti-people face,” a statement issued by the Hurriyat Conference said.

Meanwhile, condemning the action by police on the NHM employees in Srinagar, a high level meeting of Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) was held at Jammu under the Chairmanship of State President of EJAC, Abul Qayoom Wani.

In the meeting the alleged excessive use of force by Police on peaceful protest of NHM Employees at Srinagar was highly condemned in which dozens of employees were seriously injured and hospitalized; hundreds were arrested during the police action.

“This highly condemnable action puts a question mark on the employee and employer relationship and depicts the arrogance and hooliganism of Police forces on peaceful employees,” Wani said in a statement to PTK.

Wani described the police action as “highly brazen human rights violation” and “it will be in no way fruitful for the Government”. “These poor employees with highly qualified and technical degrees need justice, job security with clear-cut regularization policy. Instead of listening to the pain and sufferings of these employees, government is using unnecessary force to muzzle their voice which is totally unacceptable to the employee fraternity of the state,” he said.

“EJAC will fully support to the NHM Employees for redressal of their genuine demands,” he asserted.

‘Doctors To Wear Black Bands Today’

In an executive meeting held under the chairmanship of President DAK Dr GM Mir it was unanimously decided that the medical employees of the state will wear black band as a mark of protest against the callous behaviour of govt towards the injustice faced by the NHM employees which they have been facing since their recruitment, a statement of DAK issued here reads.

“It is quite deplorable that rather to address their genuine and grave demands they have been beaten brutally and pushed to the brim for getting their legitimate demands resolved.”

The statement added that NHM employees and the vision of its mission has undoubtedly improved the health sector across country and state and its worth to mention here that Health Sector has achieved remarkable achievements on national scale which was not possible without the contribution of NHM and NHM employees but unfortunately govt has been turning a deaf ear to the long pending genuine demands of NHM employees.

Dr G M Mir, President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) said that he is dejected on seeing the govt’s approach towards National Health Mission employees. He termed it as sheer stubborn approach towards these health employees who have served the ailing health sector through their blood and sweat.

A senior DAK member said when the authorities want to adjust their own people to safeguard their vote bank they bend the rules according to their whim and wish but when NHM employees who are the backbone of health sector have to be adjusted and regularized they plot sheer excuses.

Another executive member DAK said that its only health department that has been bringing laurels to state nationally in the govt sector and such step motherly treatment to NHM employees is a sheer injustice which will lead to immense discouragement and demonstration of work force to serve the community.

DAK appealed the staff of health department of state to wear black bands tomorrow as a mark of protest against the harassment faced by the NHM employees by the Govt. DAK stresses the Govt that it was high time to intervene in this grave issue to get it resolved at the earliest otherwise we have no option but to launch a state wide agitation.

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