Rejecting government’s offer for conditional dialogue, Jammu and Kashmir Patwar Association Friday decided to continue with their ongoing strike.
“We have lost a member due to cardiac arrest last year during protest. Government has given us written assurances twice, but then retracted from its promises. Therefore, keeping in view all this, we have decided not to accept government’s offer of calling off the strike until they implement the already made promises,” Patwar Association President Afaq Ahmad told a local news agency, KNS.
He said the decision was taken in a meeting of the Association on Friday, which was attended by all the district presidents of the state.
“They (government) had entered into a written agreement with us in February 2012 according to which all the decisions were to be implemented within three months. But we had to go for strike again when they did not full fill the promises, which were again followed by another agreement. This time government sought one month, but unfortunately did nothing on ground,” Afaq claimed.
The Association said that given the track record of the government viz a viz their assurances with them, the Association finds it difficult to believe it again and that “too when one of the front runners of the Association Khalid Mehraj from Handwara lost his life due to heart attack while addressing the protest rally last May.”
The Association said that they feel sad about the inconvenience public was facing due to their strike, but said that the government had left them with no other option.
The revenue officials (patwaris) have been on indefinite strike for last 40 days pressing for their demands.
Meanwhile, Pradesh Congress Committee President Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz has appealed government to solve the ‘genuine’ demands of the Patwaris and said that he has taken up the matter with the Revenue Minster.
“I have received a memorandum in this regard following which I took up the matter with Revenue Minster. I have told him to sort out the matter on priority as the public was suffering due to strike,” Soz told KNS.
Meanwhile the minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Ajaz Ahmad Khan also appealed the Patwaris to call off their indefinite strike and resume their duties. He said, “Government has examined their all demands on priority and shortly their genuine problems will be addressed.”