By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 13: Men clad in khaki were today seen on opposite sides of the barricades – some trying to break the barriers, others trying hard to put them firm in position. A live show of their muscle power!
The security personnel today had a harrowing time to prevent the uniformed home guards from breaking the barricades put up by the former not to allow the latter to go ahead at Dispur Last Gate where as many as six organizations staged demonstration today. The State Assembly session was underway when the demonstrators were shouting full throttle in support of their respective demands.
Members of the All Assam Trained Home Guard Association (AATHGA) set a seven-day deadline for the State Government to solve their problems. Association president Anta Das and general secretary Kamakhya Das said: “There’re around 27,000 trained home guards in the State, each of whom has to work at a meagre salary of Rs 7,500 a month. With such a meagre salary it is a difficult task for us to run our families. Working at such a low salary in the face of frequent hikes in prices of essential commodities, the trained home guards have every reason to spitfire. We did submit an application to Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal seeking an appointment with him on our demands on May 27, 2016, a memorandum on June 29, 2016. We did apply for an appointment with Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on June 6, 2016, but none of them called us for talks even today. The problems of the trained home guards found no importance in the Assembly session currently underway.”
The members of the Special Police Officers’ Welfare Society (SPOWS) also staged a demonstration at Dispur Last Gate today in support of their demand for their appointment in the 3rd AISF Battalion. They also demanded of the present dispensation at Dispur to withdraw all the cases slapped on them by the previous Congress Government in the State. In February 2011 the previous government had verbally assured them of appointing them in the 3rd AISF, followed by a written assurance on September 19, 2014. “However, those assurances continue to remain inside office files. We want intervention of the Chief Minister in our case,” SPOWS secretary Mrityunjay Bora said.
The activists of two factions of the All Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam (AASAA) raised the demand for hiking the tea labourers’ wage up to Rs 330 a day, besides ST status for the Tea Tribes. The two factions, however, differed on other demands.
Members of the All Assam Government Drivers and Handymen’s Association demonstrated in support of their demand for effecting the 7th Pay Commission recommendations from January 1, 2016 as is the case with the Central Government employees. They also demanded that the grade pay for drivers of light vehicles should be fixed at Rs 6,200 and that of heavy vehicles at Rs 6,800 per month, besides making facilities for their promotion as grade 2, grade 1 and seniors within eight years, 16 years and 24 years respectively.
Oikya Xe Axom (OXA) members also demonstrated at Dispur Last Gate today in support of demands for solutions for all problems afflicting the State.