STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Seeking liberation of underemployed youth and PHE workers of the state in particular from exploitative enslavement, scores of Panther activists led by Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman JKNPP; Yash Paul Kundal, State President Young Panthers and other leaders staged a protest at Exhibition Ground, here on Monday. The protesters raised slogans seeking time bound regularisation of PHE, DRWs, Casual workers as repeatedly assured by the Govt besides release of all pending wages. The leaders accused successive governments and BJP led erstwhile coalition for treating youth like ‘expendables’ and pushing them towards starvation and other miseries. Expressing solidarity with aggrieved workers of PHE Employees, who shall sit on 24-hour strike today, Harsh Dev Singh said that all the previous Governments including the BJP-PDP combine played a cruel joke with casual, need based and daily rated workers of PHE, I&FC, M&RE, PWD etc besides contractual employees of MGNREGA, NHM and other low paid employees of various Departments by denying them their genuine right of regularisation. He said that thousands of such workers had given prime time of their life in running the Department but the Govt had always been callous towards them and treated them like bonded labourers. “They have been pushed to face starvation. Several of them had become over aged and many had left the world with unfulfilled desire of living with dignity and honour. What happened to tall slogans of ‘Welfare State’ so promptly enshrined in the Constitution of the State? It was a shocking truth that such workers had not been paid their wages for last 4-5 years ever since the erstwhile coalition ascended to power. Were these the ‘Achey Din’ (Good days) the youth were waiting for? How the Govt could overlook its fundamental duty of paying wages and salaries in time and deprive a Govt employee of his basic right,” Harsh asked. Yash Paul Kundal drew attention of Governor towards the last year’s orders of the Supreme Court which directed Punjab Govt to pay salary and allowances to daily wage/temporary workers at par with regular staff going by the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’. Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Rajesh Padgotra, Gagan Partap Singh, Parshotam Parihar, Khajoor Singh, Narotam Singh, Surinder Chouhan, Nirmal Kishore, Rampaul Sharma, Mohinder Singh, Rashpaul Singh, Udhayver Singh, Vishab Singh, Rakesh Verma, Bikram Choudhary, Subash Charak, Jagdish Dogra, Jagdish Raj, Jugal Kumar and Rakesh Kumar.
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