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Ahead of Shah’s visit, KP employees sit on ‘night-long strike’ for relocation

JAMMU: Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the Jammu region on Friday, migrant Kashmiri Pandit employees who are on a strike for 249 days following the killing of one of their colleagues by terrorists sat on a protest here, seeking an appointment with the lieutenant governor to raise their demand of relocation with him.

The leaders of various political parties visited the protest site to register their solidarity with the employees.

Shah is scheduled to visit Rajouri district on Friday to meet the family members of victims of terror attacks.

“We are demanding that the employees should be relocated from Kashmir in the wake of selective and targeted killings. For the matter to be raised with the government, we are seeking a written assurance for an appointment with the LG,” a protester told reporters here.

He said they have failed to get an appointment with LG Manoj Sinha despite three separate requests made to the Raj Bhawan.

Top police and district administration officers reached out to the protesters, urging them to call off the night-long stir.

Working president of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress Raman Bhalla and BJP leaders Rajiv Pandita and Rakesh Kaul, visited the protest site, among others. However, police did not allow Bhalla to sit on a dharna with the protesters.

Another employee said they have been protesting at the relief commissioner’s office here for the last 249 days and will not return to the valley under the prevailing circumstances.

Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits employed in the valley under the prime minister’s package moved to Jammu following the killing of Rahul Bhat in his office in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on May 12, 2022.

The LG met the members of a delegation of the All Minority Employees Association, Kashmir at the Raj Bhawan earlier in the day.

The delegation submitted a detailed memorandum regarding their grievances to the LG.

The members of the delegation also expressed their gratitude to the LG-led Union Territory administration for initiating various measures for the welfare of the employees from the minority community.

The LG reiterated the government’s commitment towards ensuring a safe and secure environment for the minority employees posted in the Kashmir division and assured them of continuous support.


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