Police foil Anganwadi workers march to Civil Secretariat, scores detained

Police foil Anganwadi workers march to Civil Secretariat, scores detained
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SHEIKH UZAIR

SRINAGAR: Dozens of Angawadi workers were arrested by the police here on Wednesday when they tried to march towards the Civil Secretariat from Pratap Park to press for their demands.
The Anganwadi workers have been protesting for last four months demanding hike in their monthly honorarium and release of their long pending salaries.
Under the banner of All Jammu and Kashmir Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Association, hundreds of women, employed by the Social Welfare department Jammu and Kashmir who had assembled at Pratap Park, today came out and marched through Lal Chowk.
After marching to the clock tower they tried to move towards Civil Secretariat and reached near Budshah Bridge where police asked them to return.
But the workers, led by their President Tasleema Shabnum were reluctant to leave the road thus bringing the busy commercial hub of the summer capital to a standstill. Police used mild lathi-charge, tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the women protesters.
But soon they reassembled and blocked the traffic movement from Lal Chowk to Jahangir Chowk. Angry with the police action they raised slogans against the J&K police. They also raised slogans against Sajad Ghani Lone and blamed him for all their troubles.
“This is just the beginning, we were protesting peacefully but that did not work. Now our workers from all over the districts will flood the roads of Srinagar if our demands are not met,” said Tasleema Shabnum, President of the association.
Soon women’s police force was brought into action and dozens of workers including their president were arrested form Budshah Bridge while marching towards Jahangir Chowk.
After many deliberations with the workers failed police again used force and arrested dozens of them for the second time and dispersed rest of them. No injuries were however reported in police action.