NHM employees lathicharged, many injured; Fast-unto-death continues on day 3

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Shadow Correspondent
Jammu, Feb 11
Several employees, including females, working under National Health Mission were injured after police lathicharged the protesting employees at Indira Chowk who were marching towards civil
secretariat Jammu to draw attention towards their demands.
On the other hand, the National Health Mission Employees’ Association representatives today continued their fast-unto-death for the third consecutive day, even as more of their colleagues joined the hunger strike. The protests at Press Club Jammu continued for the 29th day today while a huge rally was taken out towards the civil secretariat which was stopped by police at Indira Chowk and lathicharged, leaving several of them injured.
Hundreds of employees today assembled at Press Club Jammu, holding sit in demonstrations and raising slogans, in favour of their demands.
Meanwhile, Mission Director National Health Mission Bhupinder Kumar visited the protesting employees at Shalamar Road who were holding a sit in there after police stopped them with barricades.
Meanwhile, the struggle received a shot in the arm with Zorawar Singh Jamwal of Team Jammu joining the protest and extending full support to the cause. Speaking on the occasion he ledged to support every initiative of the employees and vowed to defend them against all odds.
Jammu provincial president of All J&K NHM Employees Association Rohit Seth and Dr Raman Sharma were joined by Kashmir provincial president Muneer Andrabi, Dr Ramneek Singh and Mohammad Azam in their fast unto death. The leaders vowed to continue their fast till their demands were met.
The employees are demanding regularisation of services on the pattern of SRO 255 and implementation of ‘equal work equal pay’ orders of the Supreme Court along with social security benefits pending regularisation.
“We have shown flexibility and given choices to the government. It is for the government to decide whether they want us to live with dignity”, said Rohit Seth, in a frail voice.
Provincial president Kashmir, Muneer Andrabi said they had to take the extreme step in view of cold shouldering of their demands by the government. “We don’t have a lot of time available. The model code of conduct is on its way. After that it would be difficult for the government to take any decision in favour of our legal and genuine demands”.
Meanwhile, the doctors on the third day continued to monitor the vital health indicators of the duo on fast. “The condition of our leaders on fast is deteriorating. The government must take a decision to save their lives”, said one of the doctors looking after those on hunger strike.
“Instead of resolving our grievances which have been upheld by Supreme Court of India, the authorities are busy trying to break our resolve through threats and intimidation. If this approach continues, we may further take the protest to next level”, said Seth.
Meanwhile, later Mission Director NHM also visited Press Club Jammu where the employees are sitting on fast unto death, urging them to end the same. However, the employees politely declined, urging him to escalate the matter to the office of Governor SP Malik for redressal
at the earliest.

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