By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Oct 6: Anti-government protests at Dispur Last Gate or other prominent places rarely ruffle feathers of the powers-be in the capital complex. But on Tuesday, the calm was rudely shattered in the Assam Secretariat precincts when lower rung employees staged a vociferous demonstration right in front of the Chief Minister’s office. The dhar sent policemen into a tizzy, forcing it into strong arm tactics that aggravated the situation further.
At about 12 o’clock noon, about 500 fourth grade employees under the banner of the Assam Secretariat Fourth Grade Employees Association, staged a sit-in protest in front of the Chief Minister’s office. Demanding release of 27-months arrears of revised pay, monthly medical allowance of Rs 2,000 and raising other points in their 11-point charter of demands, the protesting employees shouted slogans and displayed banners and placards against the State government.
As the fourth grade employees vented their anger against the government, official work in the Secretariat came to a grinding halt with hardly any file moving. By 1.15 pm, the police had enough, moving in to arrest the protesters. Scuffles soon broke out, before the cops rounded up around 100 protesters and took them to the Dispur and Basistha police stations.
By evening, the protesters were released but not before the police registered cases against six of them, including the president and secretary of the association. Later talking to The Sentinel, association secretary Bhaskar Bora said, “Despite our demands being genuine, the government is depriving us. Now it has let loose the police upon us and lodged cases against association members. We will intensify our agitation in the coming days.”
The Secretariat fourth grade employees association has called an executive committee meet tomorrow at 1.30 pm to decide about its future course of action. But the protest in front of the CM’s office in the heart of the capital complex reflects the simmering disenchantment of large sections of employees with the Tarun Gogoi government.