Srinagar’s Press Enclave-a hope for people

Srinagar—Despite helplines set up by the government departments to redress the grievances of the people, scores of people mostly visit press enclave to highlight their grievances to get proper attention.

Hardly any day passes off without a delegation not visiting the press enclave to raise their voice against the alleged injustice being meted out to them.

Wednesday was not a different day as at least two delegations visited the press enclave to register their protest.

First to visit the site was a delegation of Private schools Van association to protest against alleged harassment by the traffic police here.

The President of the drivers association Shamim Ahmad said they have been asked by the traffic police not to ferry school going children in their vans, threatening our livelihood. “As many as 40 vans have been seized by the police on Tuesday for no fault of ours. When we approached police authorities they initially refused to allow an audience. On our repeated request, we were allowed but ill-treated and were virtually thrown out of their offices.”, he alleged.

He said that they have been ferrying children from their homes to their respective schools and drop them back to their homes for the past more than 20 years. There is neither any problem with the families of the students nor the schools but traffic police is unnecessarily pocking their nose in the matter threatening our livelihood.

Shamim said they are law abiding citizens and all of them are educated. We have taken the profession to feed our families. In a similar situation in 2015, he said, they went on a strike but were called by the then SSP Traffic Maqsood-u-Zaman. The strike ended after the authorities allowed us to carry only 13 students in the vans.

He said in the event the government wants us not to ferry students they should rehabilitate us as we are not alone but have families’ depending on us. There are almost 10,000 school van drivers in the valley.

Kashmir Wire vainly tried to contact SSP Traffic Tahir Saleem Khan to know his views. Only once he picked up phone and told us to wait as he was driving. Afterwards, he did not pick up the phone.

A few hours later, employees of urban local bodies department, hailing from Khrew, came in strength to highlight their demands which include regularization of their services and release of their pending salaries.

Led by Manzoor Ahmed, president of employees united forum, urban local bodies, threatened to go on an indefinite strike and paralyze the functioning of the department if their 15-point demands were not conceded within a week.

He alleged that “government appears non-serious about the problems being faced by the employees of urban local bodies of entire Kashmir valley. This is evident by appointing a director who has only six months services left. How can he redress the grievances of the employees?

Police came in vehicles and detained a number of employees. However, the other employees stood the ground and raised slogans in support of their demands

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