Dozen injured in police lathi-charge, teargassing on NHM protesters

TILAK MEHRA. Dated: 1/5/2018 12:17:52 AM

JAMMU, Jan 3: At least a dozen persons including some women were injured when police resorted to lathi-charge and fired pepper smoke shells on peaceful National Health Mission (NHM) employees, who were protesting and marching towards Civil Secretariate complex here this afternoon.
The NHM employees were peacefully agitating in support of their demands for regularization of their services and revision of their salary and other allied benefits.
However, police also foiled ‘Secretariat Gherao’ of NHM employees this afternoon, when a large number of employees reached Shalamar Chowk and raised anti-government slogans alleginhg government’s callous attitude towards NHM employees. The traffic movement was also disrupted till the protesters called off the demonstration.
The injured persons namely Sushma Devi, Irfan Ahmad, suffered bone fractures in their arms and one Rukhsana suffered head injuries and were immediately shifted to Government Medical College Hospital (GMC&H) Bakshi Nagar Jammu for treatment.
The heavy contingent of police led by North SP Vinod Kumar has already sealed the exit points by erecting barbed wires near the Secretariat keeping in view of ‘gherao’ by the NHM employees who tried to march towards Civil Secretariat Jammu.
The police didn’t allow the annoyed protesters to march towards Civil Secretariat so as to maintain law and order and pacified the protesters to call off their march but instead of listening the pleas of the senior police officials, the protesters sitting on the road and raised slogans against government.
The protesters while addressing the media said, “Government still failed to frame job policy for regularisation of NHM employees. If our demands are not fulfilled, we will intensify our protest as the government is not serious to mitigate our problems and suffering being faced by us. We are demanding job policy after which concerned minister assured us redressal of our grievance but our demand is yet to be addressed.”
Urging upon the government to immediately fulfill its promises made with National Health Mission (NHM) employees, the leaders while speaking to KTNS on the sidelines of the protest said, “Government must fulfill its promises made with the NHM employees and immediately formulate a policy to regularize them. There is a dire need to chalk out a regularization mechanism for employees, including doctors, paramedical and management staff working under NHM. The NHM employees are paid only one third of emoluments in comparison to their counterparts in the state which needs to be enhanced substantially keeping in view the nature of their duties and price escalations. These employees are working on meagre salaries for last more than a decade and they don’t have any job security.”
“The present government’s slogan of “Beti Padhao Beti Bachao” has proved to be hollow as police brutally cane-charged women NHM employees. Government’s slogan of ‘Beti Padhao Beti Bachao’ is just nonsense to befool the common people,” they maintained and said, “It is pity on BJP-PDP government, not paying any heed to the genuine demands of health employees, who perform multifarious duties and are the backbone of Health department”.
They added, “Recently, the state cabinet has framed a job policy for regularisation the services of all contractual, consolidated, casual and daily rated workers engaged in various departments but it is unfortunate that NHM employees have been totally ignored by the PDP-BJP government which is injustice with them.”
They urged upon the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Health and Medical Education Minister Bali Bhagat to fulfill the long pending demands without any delay.
Earlier, hundreds of protesters from both Jammu and Kashmir regions assembled at Exhibition Ground as already announced and marched towards Civil Secretariat complex for ‘Gherao’ to express their resentment against the government for not addressing their demands and other allied issues. The protesters also have already staged a massive protest demonstration in front of Press Club against the government failure to regularise them after promises were made to the employees.



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