By Nazima Sidiq
SRINAGAR: The continued strike of the doctors, paramedics and management staff of the national health mission (HNM) has impacted the functioning of health facilities across Kashmir Valley especially bringing the immunization programmes to a near collapse even as the divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan and deputy commissioner Dr Farooq Lone visited the protesting employees and urged them to negotiate with the authorities.
“The top state officials met us and urged to withdraw the protest and resume work. They assured to take up the issue with the chief minister,” said Suhail Hassan Shah, a representative of the protesting employees. The protesters also held a meeting with junior health minister Asiea Naqash but this meeting too could not break the deadlock.
The protesters sought a meeting with the chief minister but the divisional commissioner asked for a memorandum first. “We requested them (div com and deputy commissioner) to fix a meeting with the chief minister but asked up to submit a memorandum by 3 pm instead before a meeting is fixed,” Shah said.
“Few are preparing and sending memoranda for the past ten years. They know what our demands are but this is a tactic to avoid us and buy more and more time,” he said.
“We are not violating any law nor have we resorted to violence but still we have been treated with disdain. On Tuesday, police used water cannon against us. We only need our demands be fulfilled,” Dr Bashrat Khan, a protesting medico said.
Khan and Dr Lone met the protesting NHM employees at press enclaves and assured them that their demands will be convened to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. Khan asked the employees to resume their duties.
“We have submitted our memorandum at DC office in which we have given a roadmap to the authorities on how they could meet our demands. We will chalk out further course of action once we get a response from the authorities,” Abdul Rauoof, spokesperson of the protesting employees said.