Army porters hold protest, highlight demands

JAMMU, JUL 30: A number of permanent residents of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Akhnoor, Poonch and Rajouri, who have served as Porters during Operation Vijay in Kargil today held a protest demonstration at Exhibition Ground, Jammu in support of their demands.
Speaking on the occasion, President, J&K Army Porters Union, Darshan Lal Ghai said, “We were recruited in our respective areas of living, by Army authorities as Army Civilian Porters in 1999, during Kargil War (Operation Vijay) upto end of Operation Vijay. We had served the country in most difficult terrains alongwith regular Army troops. During Kargil war, 10 porters sacrificed their lives for the motherland, but the Government has provided financial-relief as well as Government job to only one person and the remaining porters are waiting for their engagement in Government Departments, as per assurances/promises made by the Government at that time.”
He further said that after Kargil war, Army authorities handed over certificates to every individual porter and verbally assured us that preference will be given to Kargil war porters for recruitment in Government jobs. “We feel proud to be a part of Kargil war alongwith troops, but on the other hand, are being neglected by the Government. It is very difficult to earn livelihood for our family-members as we are the only bread-earners. Government has framed a proper policy for rehabilitation and employment of surrendered militants, who were fully involved in anti-national activities, but we, the Army porters are still running from pillar to post for our rights. We appeal to the Government to take necessary measures for fulfilling the long-pending genuine demands of Army porters, failing which we will be forced to launch a state-wide agitation for our rights,” Ghai maintained.