Police foiled a protest march of hundreds of PHE (Public Health Engineering) employees by arresting dozens of their leaders on Thursday. The temporary PHE employees under the banner of ‘Kashmir PHE Joint Employees Association’ held a massive protest in the press colony here to press for their demand of regularization and pending wages.
As the protesters started their march towards Lal Chowk, a large contingent of police swung into action and arrested dozens of them. Authorities had deployed a large number of men in uniform in the press colony who did not allow the protesters to move out on the residency road. After police arrested their leaders, the protesters dispersed peacefully.
“I am a casual labor with PHE department from last 15 years and I am waiting my regularization. We are not getting our salaries in time. This year I got my salary of 2 months only and rest is lying with them. Tell me how can I feed my children”, said a protesting employee, Khursheed Ahmad.
Addressing the protesters, the president of the association, Sajad Ahmad Parray said that they are demanding for the release of pending wages and want confirmation of all the daily wage employees. “The employees who are working in the department since long are waiting for their regularization, some among them were employed 15- 20 years ago, they all are still working as casual labors,” he said.
The association threatened to go for an indefinite strike if their demands were not fulfilled.