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Jammu: Contractual Lecturers to Launch Fast Unto Death If Demands Unfulfilled

Sagrika Kissu |
The protesters said that it is difficult for them to survive and take care of their families with the paltry wages that they receive
Jammu: Contractual Lecturers to Launch Fast Unto Death If Demands Unfulfilled

Image for representational use only.Image Courtesy : Early Times

It has been 764 days since lecturers [10+2] of Jammu and Kashmir Contractual Lecturers Forum have been on a chain hunger strike. Everyday, four lecturers, in rotation, sit on the hunger strike from morning 9 am to 5 pm in the evening. Their demands are simple – they want regularisation of their services. But according to them, it has been over two years, and the government and now, the governor Satya Pal Malik, have taken no concrete steps, but have only given false assurances. The protesting lecturers have warned that if their demands are not fulfilled, they will launch fast unto death.

Speaking to Newsclick, President of the forum, Arun Bakshi, said, “In the last one week, I have talked to the governor personally on telephone. He has assured that he will do something. But the last time, we had met him. He assured us the same even then. We are in constant touch with the advisor, and he is assuring us like always. But this time, we are sure that if no concrete steps are taken, we will launch a massive fast unto death, and then the state will have to bear the consequences.”

The protesters said that it is difficult for them to survive and take care of their families with the paltry wages that they receive. According to Jeevan Kumar, a contractual worker, who was on a hunger strike today, said, “Those lecturers who work in plain areas get Rs 10,500, and those who work in the hilly areas, get Rs 14,000. We have BA, MA degrees, and we have been teaching for years now. It’s difficult to survive with such little salary that we get.”

Previously, Newsclick had covered the ongoing strike of the contractual lecturer,s but since then, there has been no development except for assurances, the which the protestors claim are “false.” During People’s Democratic Party regime, a policy was introduced assuring regularisation of the services of the contractual lecturers after three years. “But after some time, there was a modification in which it was stated that the arrangement applies only to people who joined before April 2004, and after that. In 2010, another legislation was brought that said that ad hoc, contractual and consolidated lecturers will be regularised after seven years. It was passed under Civil Services Special Provision Act 2010. But when we filed an RTI to ask what is our status, we were told that the 2003 regulation was enforced and not 2010. Department has kept us in confusion, and I simply want the governor to regularise us without any delay,” Bakshi told Newsclick.

The protesting lecturers claim to have qualified district level examinations, on the basis of which they were hired. “The government has already regularised so many ad-hoc/contractual/consolidated/academic arrangement, only 10+2 lecturers have been left behind,” Bakashi had told Newsclick recently. Meanwhile, the lecturers said that BJP MLA Kavinder Gupta had come to meet them recently, and had assured fulfilment of their demands, but nothing has happened till now. The protest has seen participation from lecturers who have been working for over 10 years. Every day, the lecturers start their strike amidst raising slogans, in a hope that their demand will be heard today.

Also read: Over 700-Day Protest by Contractual Lecturers in Jammu Falls on Deaf Ears

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