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PHE workers clash with police in Jammu

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Jammu, Feb 19: Thousands of workers of Public Health Engineering (PHE) department clashed with police on Wednesday as their march to Raj Bhawan here to demand pending wages was stopped midway.

The workers, including casual labourers and daily-wagers, began the march from the Chief Engineer’s office.

A large contingent of police had closed the route at BC Road and did not allow the protesters to proceed towards Raj Bhawan, triggering a clash between the demonstrators and police personnel, officials said.

The PHE workers continued to protest at the spot for over two hours, raising anti-administration slogans and resulting in a road blockade, they said.

A leader of the protesters said, “We urge Lieutenant Governor G S Murmu to look into the issues pertaining to regularisation (of our jobs) and release of wages to daily-rated workers.”

These workers have been working sincerely for the department for the past many years, but unfortunately they have been neglected, he said.

The PHE workers have been on a strike since February 07.

Besides release of pending wages, they have been demanding regularisation of their jobs, filling up of vacant posts, repair and maintenance of faulty pumping houses and water stations, and basic facilities at water stations for the staff.

The strike has impacted utility services, leading to a drinking water crisis in most parts of Jammu and Srinagar.

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