SRINAGAR: National Health Mission (NHM) staff that was on protests for almost a week in Partap Park is almost over. Cops uprooted their tents late last night and when they gathered again, they faced a colour spray and later tear smoke shelling.
For the last seven days NHM doctors and para-medics were on a sit-in seeking “equal pay for equal service” and “regularization” of their contractual services. Their face-off with cops on Monday led to many of their members getting injured and hospitalized. A day later, they were chased away.
“You used brute force against us despite the fact that we are seeking justice and we carried no stones,” one of the NHM orators was telling the audience in Partap Park, minutes after water cannons splashed them in colours. The intense cold added to the crisis of the agitating professionals. “You should have remembered that when you come to us, we treat with compassion and we will continue doing so.”
But the moral lecturing impacted nobody as the police had decided to get rid of the routine. The doctors, they said, were creating problems in the routine movement. They, however, did not say that most of the peripheral health set-up is down to abnormal zero because of NHM strike.
Within minutes, and after warnings, the cops lobbed various tear smoke shells in the Partap Park and scared them away. Within minutes after the police charge, the central park was deserted. With the water assault most of them had their attire drenched in water and later the tear smoke added to their problems.
While Doctors Association of Kashmir has regretted the use of force against their colleagues, the NHM staffers have not offered any idea of their next course of action. They had earlier charted a 48-hour protest programme which they extended by another 24 hours that is reaching conclusion.