SRINAGAR: Police on Thursday foiled the march of agitating government employees towards Civil Secretariat in Jammu and detained around 100 protesters.
A large contingent of police was already present at the Press Club from where employees were scheduled to take out their march towards the Civil Secretariat. As soon as the employees gathered under the banner of Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), an amalgam of several employees unions, they were bundled into police vans and shifted to the Police Lines.
Senior JCC leader and president of Employees Joint Action committee (EJAC-Q), Abdul Qayoom Wani, while addressing the employees before his detention said that on Friday a protest demonstration would be staged outside Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s official residence at around 6 pm to press the government to fulfill their demands.
Announcing the next phase of protest programme, Wani said that on February 14-15 the employees will march towards state Assembly for gherao and observe a pen-down strike. Also, protests would be staged at all district headquarters against the government’s “non-serious attitude.”
JCC, which spearheads the employees’ agitation, is demanding, among other things, enhancement in retirement age from 58 to 60 years, regularization of daily wagers, removal of pay anomalies in the clerical cadre, besides budgetary support for public sector undertakings.
Meanwhile, reports from Jammu said all entry points leading towards the Secretariat and Press Club were sealed and the identity cards of people were checked by police.
Jammu’s Additional Deputy Commissioner (G) Shahnaz Choudhary and other officers were also present at the venue spot to monitor the situation.
The detained JCC leaders included Abdul Qayoom Wani, Manzoor Pampori, Nusrat Beigh and Amrik Singh.
The employees raised slogans against the government and appealed their colleagues to unite “at this critical juncture and gear up the movement at grass root level to fight against the repressive measures of the government.”
“Government should abandon the policy of confrontation and take employees on board. This is the high time for the government to resolve all the issues and implement the September 2011 agreement in letter and spirit,” Wani said.
“We have always tried our best to avoid confrontations with the government, but the government is in no mood to listen to our genuine demands. They seem unmoved by our protests. Therefore, we have announced a two-day protest programme which will commence from February 14,” he added.
On January 15, employees had tried to take out a torch procession towards Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s official residence at Wazarat Road, Jammu which was, however, foiled by police by detaining dozens of employees.