Employees’ stir: Police foils ‘torch procession’ in Jammu

Yasir Ashraf
Srinagar: Police on Wednesday foiled a ‘torch procession’ by agitating government employees towards Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s official residence in Jammu.
At least two dozen employees including several leaders of Joint Consultative Committee, which is spearheading the agitation by the official workforce, were arrested by the police, reports said.
Earlier, hundreds of employees led by senior JCC leader Abdul Qayoom Wani assembled at Eidgah Ground near ruling National Conference’s office at Wazarat Road in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
Carrying torches and shouting slogans in favour of their demands, the employees tried to march towards the Chief Minister’s residence as soon as dusk set in.
However, a large contingent of police intercepted the protesting employees and resorted to baton charge to disperse them.
While most of the employees fled away, around 24 of them, mainly leaders, offered resistance and were later whisked away by the police. The employees were lodged in City Police station when last reports were received.
Some of those who have been detained include Abdul Qayoom Wani, Ganesh Khajuria, Kulwant Singh, Amrik Singh, Gopal Dass, Darshan Singh, Moulvi Muneer Ahmed, Kuldeep Sharma, Hari Singh, Rajinder Kumar, Moulvi Nazir Ahmed, Tanveer Hussain, Darshan Sharma, Jaswant Singh, Jagdish Sharma, Ravinder Singh, Dr Manzoor Ahmad and L K Dutta.
Meanwhile, talking to Kashmir Reader, senior JCC leader and president of EJAC (Q) Abdul Qayoom Wani condemned the police action.
“No matter how much atrocities are committed on employees by the government, we are not going to remain silent and will keep fighting till our just demands are met,” Wani said, asking the government to implement the September 15 (2011) agreement with the JCC.
The employees have been demanding extension in the retirement age from 58 to 60, regularization of daily wagers, removal of pay anomalies in the clerical cadre, besides budgetary support for public sector undertakings.
Wani said that the JCC has convened an emergency meeting on Thursday to chalk out future course of action.
“While the future programme will be announced at a press conference on Friday, one thing is sure—we are going to intensify our protests,” he added.