Implement agreements by Eid or face agitation: EJAC (R) to govt

IQBAL KIRMANI
SRINAGAR: Threatening a statewide agitation if their demands were not met by Eid, a representative body of the state employees Wednesday asked government to implement previous agreements it had made with them.
In a convention held here, Ram Kumar Sharma, state president Employees Joint Action Committee (R) said, “Eid is the final date we provide to this government. They should implement the agreements it has made with the employees or else we will come to streets, and the state will see how much powerful we are.”
Sharma reminded the government that Finance Minister Rahim Rather had already made three agreements with the employees but have failed to implement it. “The government which cannot implement its own policies and agreement has no right to hold the office,” he said.
Sharma while criticising the ‘casual’ government approach said that so far it has not accepted the demands to regularise temporary workers like casuals, home guards, consolidated employees of different departments who have completed seven years of services. He said removal of pay anomalies and medical insurance policy too is being ignored.
“Our counterparts are protesting in Jammu today for the same. And we demand that special duty allowances be granted to the employees of Ladakh region on the pattern of central government employees,” Sharma said.
“Government is trying to silence us by enhancing the retirement age. This is a political move and we understand it well. You cannot cheat us with such moves,” he said.
Sharma said that the recent defeat of the National Conference in Parliamentary elections was due to its anti-employee policy. “If they continue with such policies then we too will devise a plan for the coming elections and this government will have to face much worse results than the previous elections,” Sharma said.
Speaking on the occasion, Rafiq Ahmad Khanyari, state general secretary of EJAC (R), without naming former employees leader Khurshid Alam, said, “There are people who have used this platform for their political benefits and today they are being garlanded by political parties.”
Later talking to Kashmir Reader on the sidelines of the Convention Sharma said that they will launch a campaign against the government’s policies. “We will organize seminars and debates in this regard at district level and tehsil level. The deadline we have provided to the government is the final call after which all state employees will come on street and the responsibility of any consequence of agitation will be on government.”
“Time has come that we must take final action. How can a home guard man run his family affairs on a meagre salary of Rs 580 per month? This is shame on government,” he said.
The convention was held here in a local hotel. Employees later came out on the streets and staged a protest. Raising anti-government slogans they halted traffic in busy Lal Chowk area. Police swung into action and lathi charged the protesting employees. They later detained president and provincial president of EJAC (R) along with other protestors.

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