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Employees’ Sectt gherao foiled; Scores detained, several injured
SRINAGAR, July 8: Scores of employees were injured and many others detained when police used water cannons and batons to foil their march when they were trying to gherao civil secretariat to press for their demands.

The work in the government offices including civil secretariat was adversely affected due to strike call given by employees in support of their demands.

Hundreds of employees under the banner of Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) this morning assembled near Khalsa School (Opposite Iqbal Park) and tried to march towards Civil Secretariat to gherao it. The police stopped them and asked them to disperse.

The employees insisted on going ahead with the protest, following which police used batons and water cannons to disperse them. Dozens of employees were injured including some women employees.

The employees again regrouped and tried to proceed as per their scheduled programme. The police again resorted to lathicharge to scuttle the march. Police also detained scores of employees including a faction president of JCC Abdul Qayoom Wani, Abdul Gaffur Dar, Manzoor Pampori and scores of others.

The detained employees were lodged in various police stations in Srinagar, However, police sources said that majority of them were released late in the evening.

The divisional authorities had deployed huge contingents of police well in advance almost all the roads leading to civil secretariat to prevent the employees from marching towards its main gate.

The employees also took out various protests before reaching Khalsa School. Muntazir Mohidin led a protest from Food and Supplies Department towards Khalsa School. Similarly, Abdul Gaffur Dar led a protest from Sheep and Animal Husbandry Department and Manzoor Pampori from Urban Local Bodies Directorate towards main venue.

The leaders of JCC had also come to Srinagar with small groups to register their protest.

However, as soon as the employees tried to march towards Jahangir Chowk, police resorted to water canon and baton-charge to disperse them. They also took several employees them into preventive custody.

The police action created panic in entire Jahangir Chowk area and traffic movement was also affected for quite some time. Today’s protests affected work in government offices across Kashmir.

The work in most of the government offices was adversely affected due to the strike call given by the employees. The employees also hold protest demonstrations at district headquarters also. The most of the government offices in Srinagar city, civil secret rate and government offices at district headquarters remained mostly closed.

Before being taken into custody, JCC president Abdul Qayoom Wani alleged the government of ignoring the demands of the employees intentionally. He said that the employees are being forced to take to streets after government fails to meet their demands.

He also that it would be incorrect to say that the enhancement in the existing retirement age would affect the employment chances of the educated unemployed youths in the state.

Warning the government of serious consequences in case it failed to translate the promises made with the employees into reality, Muntazir Mohidin said that the employees would intensify their agitation in case their genuine demands were not taken seriously by the present dispensation.

The union leaders demanded that all those who are working in different departments as contingent employees must be regularized and the issues of Rehbar-e-Taleem (RET) teachers and Educational Volunteers (EVs) should be taken seriously.

The agitated employees said that state government should ensure incorporation of RETs five years probation into their service records and 50 percent of the job quota in Education department should be reserved for the regularization of EVs.

The protest call was also given by an employees union in support of its demand for release of the Pay Commission arrears, enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years and regularization of adhoc and daily-wage workers.

The protest by the employees led to the diversion of traffic and commuters had to face a tough time. Traffic cops manning the traffic at TRC crossing and Residency Road diverted all vehicles towards the Abdullah Bridge. The situation was restored to normal after the protests were over.

News Updated at : Monday, July 8, 2013
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