AJKPC leads Maali-cum-Chowkidars’ protest, demands daily-wager status for protesters
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Hundreds of Maali-cum-Chowkidars serving in Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department on Wednesday staged a protest under the banner of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) and demanded their absorption as permanent daily wagers in the department.
The protestors, who have donated their landholdings for various purposes, made an unsuccessful attempt to block the busy Tawi bridge and later courted arrest to protest against the rural development department’s insensitive approach towards their genuine demands.
Led by the UT president of AJKPC, Anil Sharma and other PRI members, the protestors raised slogans against the department and demanded that their demands should be fulfilled without any delay.
“We demand that the government should seriously look into their demand for absorption as permanent daily wagers in the department. They have donated their landholdings without charging any single penny from the department,” Sharma said.
The AJKPC leader said the government is natural and lawful guardian of all citizens and it is expected that it would not cheat its subjects and fulfill all its promissory and lawful duties but in the present case of Panchayat Maalis and Guards, the poor villagers are not only defrauded of their own land but are also exploited in the name of government job.
He said the government should ensure that they are paid minimum wages of Rs 9,000 per month to these Maalis-cum-Chowkidars which are being paid to permanent daily wagers, while their attendance must be ensured through biometric mode to give legitimacy to their appointments.
“In the year 2003, the then Jammu and Kashmir government had issued an order no. 208 dated 08-July- 2003 in wherein the government had engaged these Panchayat Maalis, Chowkidars in clear vacancies and had promised them to pay them Rs 1000 month for next 7 years i.e. till 2010 and then after Rs 4500 per month and then further increase as per government policy in vogue but neither they were given any money till date nor any appointment orders issued so far,” the AJKPC leader regretted.
He said that many of these poor aspirants are now overaged and have no source of livelihood. “We urge the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to look into this issue of injustice with the villagers,” he said.
Later, they tried to take out the protest march towards Tawi bridge which was strongly resisted by the police. Thereafter, they were taken to the District Police Line (DPL) and were released in the evening. Prominent among those who accompanied the AJKPC President during his protest against RDD. AJKPC Vice President Ram Swaroop Sharma,
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