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Students, daily-wagers and employees stage separate protests in Jammu

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Jammu, Jan 14: Jammu was rocked by a chain of protests Monday as university students, daily wagers and employees of different departments took to streets in support of their various demands.

A group of students from the University of Jammu blocked the main road for over an hour to protest against the recent decision of the State Administrative Council (SAC) to adjust stipendiary Rahbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers on vacant posts of staff teachers.

“It is an anti-student decision and we want its immediate revocation. Where will we go because there is no corporate sector and our only hope is government jobs,” a student protester said.

He said there are 28,000 vacant posts of teachers and if all these are filled up with stipendiary ReT teachers, which means “we will have to wait for at least 12 more years for applying for the post of teachers”.

The students threatened to intensify the strike if the governor’s administration did not repeal the order.

Last month, the SAC approved an action plan recommended by a committee which would enable streamlining the cadre of ReT teachers by transitioning them in the regular cadre of teachers and meeting the salary deficit of SSA and RMSA teachers, which is over Rs 1,400 crore per annum, out of the state budget.

Hundreds of agitating Public Health Engineering (PHE) daily wagers took out a rally from their headquarters along the B C Road but were stopped by police from moving towards the Civil Secretariat.

“We are on strike for the last four months in support of our demands, including regularisation of our services and release of pending salaries. The government is not paying heed to our demands and forcing us to come on the roads,” Pawan Kumar, one of the protesters said.

He threatened to intensify the agitation along with their family members if their demands were not met.

At Exhibition Ground here, National Health Mission (NHM) employees association also staged a 48-hour long demonstration, accusing the governor administration of “failing” to address their demands.

“The previous government gave us a written assurance to fulfill our demands one year back but nothing has been done so far,” said Rohit Seth, one of the protesters.

Meanwhile, a group of lecturers demanded revocation of SRO 202 — a government order of 2015 under which the appointees in the government service gets only basic pay for first five years of their service.

“We have been selected for the government jobs after passing through written tests and interviews conducted by recruiting agencies. We met the governor who assured to look into our demands,” said Sunil Kumar, a lecturer.

He said the new job policy violates equal pay for equal work norm and is discriminatory.

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