Police on Tuesday used force against National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) employees at city center Lal Chowk, while they were trying to carry out protest march towards the residence of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at Gupkar in Srinagar. NRHM employees who have been working with the health department from last 10 years are protesting against government demanding regularisation of their services from past Wednesday. Earlier, NRHM employees demanding regularization of their services had erected tents outside Press Enclave.
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Today on the seventh day of protest, they tried to take out a protest march towards CM’s residence at Gupkar from Lal Chowk. But, policemen prevented them to take out the march. Police used tear gas canisters and lathi charge to disperse them.
In this standoff, some of the protesters were injured. “Four of our employees which includes Dr Manmeet Singh, 37 was injured. His leg has got injured in police action,” said Abdul Rouf spokesperson of the protesting Jammu and Kashmir National Health Mission Employees (JKNHM).
He termed use of force on them as “government’s failure to address their issues”. He said: “From past seven days we are protesting and nothing has come from government.”
There are over 12 thousand employees comprising of doctors, paramedics and managerial staff all over JK state associated with the NHRM, according to protesting body JKNHM.
Terming Monday’s meeting with minister of state for health Asiya Naqash as “verbal formality”, spokesperson Rauf said that there is a program now to continue the strike until their demand of regularization is not fulfillled.
Director NHRM Dr Mohan Singh told Indian Express that NRHM is a centrally sponsored scheme. “90 per cent sponsored by center, while rest 10 per cent is sponsored by state,” he said, adding that he had taken demand of regularization of employees under this scheme (NRHM) with the Center. “The Centeral government told us that it’s state’s prerogative and hence it is for state to take decision on the matter,” he said.
The director said that matter is under state government’s domain. “Let us see what decision state government takers on the matter,” he said.