Regretting the failure of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address and redress, during his visit to the J&K state, the grievances of lacs of lower rung employees of the state who are facing the worst form of exploitation and human rights violations, hundreds of activists of JKNPP led by Mr. Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman-JKNPP and Mr. Yashpaul Kundal, State President Young Panthers staged a massive demonstration at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. The protestors torched the effigy of Narendra Modi and raised slogans against the Union as well as State government for their failure to fulfill the promises doled out to the said sections of employees during elections.Addressing the gathering, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh said that thousands of daily rated workers (DRWs), Anganwari and Asha workers, SPOs, contractual and other casual workers were brought to attend the PM’s rally on the assurance that their long pending issues of regularization, enhancement of honorium etc. would be duly addressed and settled but regretted that the PM did not utter a single word about lacs of such workers awaiting redressal of the grievances for the last around 20 years.
Making a particular mention of the daily wagers, casuals and CPs workers of PDD, PHE, R&B, I&FC, Forests, Tourism and Tourism Development authorities, Mr. Singh regretted that the said categories of workers were forced to work like bonded labourers without paying their meager wages for months together. He flayed in particular the withholding of the wages of the said categories of workers since the formation of the present Govt with the PM turning a blind eye towards their pathetic plight during J&K visit despite assurances on the subject. He deplored the negligee wages ranging from Rs. 500/- to Rs. 4500/- P.M having been fixed for various categories of workers in Deptts. like Power, PWD, PHE, I&FC etc and that too remaining unpaid for months together and said that the same was not only the worst from the exploitation but the most outrageous kind of human rights violation.
He regretted the non release of salaries since April, 2015 of RETs and other teachers including EVs appointed under SSA and RMSA despite the same being centrally sponsored schemes and despite funding for the same coming from the Central govt. He said that Education volunteers of Education Deptt. were not paid even a single penny for the last more than one year resulting in large scale pendency of their arrears and were thus forced to starvation. He regretted the complete neglect of SPOs and VDCs giving 24X7 duties, who had been assured of enhancement of their honorarium only to be humiliated and cheated. Calling upon the state govt. to fulfill its promises made to the said categories of employees, he sought release of their salaries and wages prior to Diwali festival failing which the Panthers Party would organize protests demonstrations outside the official residences of Ministers.
Lampooning the Govt. for taking plea of Funds constraints, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh said that if several crores of rupees could be spent on PM’s rally and allied arrangements during his J&K visit, it was obnoxious and criminal to deprive the poor semi employed of their nominal wages. Flaying the flagrant abuse of state resources, he questioned the BJP-PDP coalition for its rationale behind the proposal of providing luxury cars to MLAs, MLCs and Ministers and denial of wages to poor workers on the plea of the so-called financial crisis. He said that the Ministers were still travelling with a cavalcade of 30-40 vehicles during their visits to various places across the state despite there being a clear cut govt. order in place on Austerity measures restraining the Ministers from carrying district level officers with them during tours. He said that huge funds were still being drawn from state exchequer for tours and travels of Ministers including sponsorship of their private visits at public expense and abuse of state Helicopter for private functions. Mr. Harsh Dev Singh regretted it were the only poor labour class besides certain other categories of govt. employees who were bearing the brunt of the much publicized financial crisis in the state of J&K. He said that the Central CVC and CAG must ake cognizance of the blatant abuse of public exchequer in the state and deprivation of marginal and lower rung employees.
Mr. Yashpaul Kundal observed that the unemployed youth of the state felt cheated as they had pinned high hopes during PM’s visit for announcement of an Employment Package. He said that Jammu youth in particular felt largely disappointed as they hoped that PM would undo the 68 years old discrimination doled out to them in employment as repeatedly promised by BJP during elections. He said that JKNPP would continue to agitate the cause of unemployed, semi employed and other contractual and DRWs of the state. Prominent who spoke on the occasion included Rajiv Jolly Khosla, Arun Khajuria, Rajeshwar Singh, Surjit Singh Guleria besides others.