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NHM contractual employees hold protests in Jammu against termination of service, clash with police

Jammu: Hundreds of contractual employees of the National Health Mission (NHM) on Thursday held massive anti-government protests against their termination and clashed with police in Jammu city to press for continuance of their services.

Over 1,500 NHM contractual employees, mostly women, assembled at the gate of the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital here and protested against the termination of their services.

They raised anti-government slogans and blocked the road for hours to press their demand for continuation of their services.

As the blockade caused heavy traffic jams, police force came into action and tried to forcibly remove the blockade.

However, the protesters clashed with them. Later, they were removed from the road.

The protesters alleged that the government was exercising a “use and throw” policy with NHM employees. “The government is exercising a ‘use and throw’ policy with us and we condemn it,” Sunita Devi, an NHM employee, who was one of the lead protesters, told reporters here.

She said they had joined service at GMC at the peak of the first wave of COVID-19 last year when no one wanted to come out of their homes.

“We were promised that if we served in the best way during the COVID period, we will be regularised in the services. But instead of regularisation, they threw us out after using us during the worst COVID period,” she said.

They demanded regularisation of NHM employees who have helped save hundreds of COVID-19 patients.

According to official reports, the government is reported to have terminated over 1,500 such employees from services.