On the third day after the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting of the employees, there was a strong protest against the government in Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. A day earlier, where police constables surrounded the Chief Minister’s residence Oakover, on Monday, thousands of workers of about 50 organizations of employees under the banner of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh gathered at the gate of the state secretariat. Many employee organizations were demanding a solution to the demands on the lines of JCC. When the police closed the main road going from Shimla to Sanjauli, the workers belonging to the union started pushing the gate to open it. Three Sangh leaders were injured in the clash when the police prevented the mob from entering.
Seeing the protest getting furious, Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh spoke to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur over phone while the Chief Minister was at Dharampur in Mandi. When the Chief Minister asked the delegation of these leaders to hold talks, seven representatives were called to the Secretariat to meet the Chief Secretary. These leaders of the Sangh, who stood outside for some time, started shouting slogans inside the Chief Secretary’s room for not being called early. Then the Chief Secretary called them again. Speeches and sloganeering against the government continued outside. The Chief Secretary had a long discussion in the committee room in support of the labor leaders associated with the union.
Police accused of lathicharge, jammed due to stopping movement
The protesters have accused of not accepting various demands and suppressing the voice of the workers with lathi charge. Making serious allegations against an officer of the Chief Minister’s Office has also questioned the working style of the government. At the same time, during the sit-in demonstration, the police stopped the movement by closing the gate of Toland-Sanjauli main road for some time, which led to huge traffic jam. The workers took out a rally from Chaura Maidan to Lift via Himland and from Toland to Chhota Shimla. Hundreds of workers were stopped near the lift, they could not reach the secretariat. Amidst the protests, vehicular movement was disrupted for about two and a half hours on a part of the circular road in Shimla.
Demands of the employees
ASHA workers, Anganwadi, outsourced, sewing-embroidery workers are demanding that they should be given financial benefits on the lines of regular government employees. Employees of Boards-Corporations are also demanding benefits of salary, allowances and pension like departmental employees. Private sector employees are adamant to get the conditions of the Wage Board implemented properly.
Soon the Chief Minister will talk to the organizations
When the labor representatives informed about the talks with the government, the protesters went to their homes at five o’clock. Chief Secretary Ramsubhag Singh said that State President of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Madan Rana and other representatives spoke with an open mind. He said that four-five big demands have been discussed. The government has many limitations. A careful decision will be taken about this. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will talk to them in a week or two.
Case filed against a dozen leaders
Cases have been registered against a dozen activists, including the leaders of the State Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, in the state secretariat in Chhota Shimla for protest against the demands. Various organizations under the banner of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh raised slogans against the government by taking out a rage rally against the government from Chaura Maidan to Secretariat on Monday. During the protest, the traffic on the circular road was affected for about two and a half hours.
Seeing the protesters, the police security force closed the secretariat gate. During this, there was also a slight scuffle. After this, the protesters sat on the road outside the police station and blocked the wheel. Due to this the traffic on Cart Road came to a complete halt. Small vehicles going from Old Bus Stand to Sanjauli were sent via Raj Bhawan Marg. Whereas the wheels of big vehicles were stuck till about quarter to five o’clock. The movement of vehicles came to a complete standstill during the protest.