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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Surat diamond polishers begin hunger strike

The Gujarat Vikas Samithi members have come forward to start agitation for the cause of unemployed diamond polishers.

Written by Express News Service | Surat | Published: January 13, 2009 1:55:45 am

The Gujarat Vikas Samithi members have come forward to start agitation for the cause of unemployed diamond polishers.

Eleven members of the Samithi sat on a fast for 51 hours at Punagam in Surat from Sunday and demanded that the state and the central government should give relief packages to diamond polishers. The members also warned that if their demands are not fulfilled,their agitation will spread across the state.

Diamond polishers in Surat are facing a severe financial crisis as diamond factories are closed for the last three months,leaving them jobless. Some diamond workers have committed suicide,while some have taken to criminal activities.

Eleven members of the Samithi began their fast on Sunday morning at Sitanagar Chowkdi in Punagam to press their demand for release of relief package for diamond polishers.

On the other hand,the diamond polishers have demanded resignation of C P Vanani,the president of Surat Diamond Association and Babu Jirawala,the president of Surat Diamond Workers’ Association for their failure to convince the government to declare the relief packages.

Samithi president Praveen Bhalara said: “We have demanded that some relief fund should be declared by both the governments. Despite some diamond polishers having committed suicide,the government has failed to give any attention to their condition.”

He added: “Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister of the state because of the votes given by diamond polishers in Ahmedabad,Surat,and in North Gujarat.”

He said Modi had sent relief kits to the flood-affected people in Bihar and had gone himself to give cheques to family members of ATS chief Hemant Karkare and two others who died in terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

“Why is the CM not interested in giving relief packages to the diamond polishers of Surat and of other parts of his own state?” asks Bhalara.

The members of the GVS said they would carry out the agitation in the coming days all across the state if their demands were not fulfilled.

Bhalara was recently in news for informing the police and showing them the locations of the bombs planted in Varachha area.

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