NHM employees injured in police lathicharge, march to Secretariat foiled

GJ Report
JAMMU, Jan 9: More than 50 employees of National Health Mission on Tuesday were injured when the police resorted to lathicharge and fired smoke shells to prevent their march to the Civil Secretariat, where the district administration has already imposed Section 144 of CrPC as a preventive measure.
Carrying placards and shouting slogans, hundreds of NHM employees, demanding regularisation of their jobs on Tuesday afternoon took out protest rally and marched towards the Civil Secretariat.
On reaching near MLA Hostel Road, where Section 144 was already in force, contingent of police restricted them from heading towards the Civil Secretariat.
The protestors and the police clashed during the protest.
Police restricted their forceful march by resorting to lathicharge. They also fired chilly bombs and smoke shells to disperse the protestors.
Over 50 NHM employees including women sustained injuries in the cane-charge.
Amid anti-Government sloganeering, the demonstrators staged sit-in at Shalimar Chowk.
Traffic however, came to standstill in old city area due to protest.
Meanwhile, various organisations condemned the lathi charge and usage of tear shell on protesting NHM workers.
Earlier on January 5, Jammu and Kashmir Health Minister Bali Bhagat held round of talks with the representatives of the NHM employees and discussed all their issues and demands.
The Minister reiterated his appeal to the agitating employees to resume their work immediately as patient care in health institutions is suffering.
He said and added that Government has already taken sympathetic view on their all outstanding issues, including regularisation and moving gradually to address these complex issues.
The Minister said the Government had constituted a Committee of officers to examine their all issues on merit and the Committee, along with other issues also recommended regularisation of employees in a phased manner as it was difficult to regularise more than 8000 employees in one go, who are presently working in NHM and other related schemes in Health and Medical Education Department across the state which roughly involves a financial implication up to Rs 225 crore annually.