4 INJURED, 50 ARRESTED; TARIGAMI FLAYS USE OF FORCE
Srinagar, July 29 (KNS): Police on Monday resorted to baton charge and used water cannons to foil a march to civil secretariat here by casual labourers in support of their demands including wages at the end of every month. Sources told KNS that scores of labourers under the banner of All J&K Casual Labourers Union (Power Development Department) assembled at Basant Bagh here and started to proceed towards the Civil Secretariat, housing the office of Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues. As soon as the casual labourers reached near Jahangir Chowk, a deployment of police tried to persuade them to disperse peacefully. However, casual labourers offered stiff resistance, prompting police to resort to water cannons and baton charge. In police action four causal labourers were injured identified as Jahangir Ahmad Dar, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Abdul Hameed and Hilal Ahmad, they said. The police also arrested around 50 casual labourers who tried to proceed towards the secretariat despite use of force and water cannons. Mohammad Shafi Bhat, president of the Union, told KNS that despite elapsing of 17 months, promise made by the government to release wages has not been fulfilled. “If our demands are not met before 26 Ramdan (Shabi-e-Qadr), then we will go on hunger strike including on EID at Lal Chowk here,” he said. Meanwhile, CPI (M) State secretary M Y Tarigami condemned the use of force and extended his support to the protesting casual labourers. “What is the justification for using forces against causal labourers who just want their genuine demands be fulfilled,” he told KNS. “I offer my full support to the casual labourers and urge government to fulfil their demands forthwith,” he added.