AJKPC hunger strike enters 2nd day
JAMMU, Dec 4: The 168-hour-long hunger strike, launched by the elected Panchayat members under the leadership of All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) state president Anil Sharma, against the non-payment of Rs 1,000 crore MGNREGA liabilities, entered the second consecutive day here today.
The Sarpanches and Panches from various parts of Kashmir Valley and Jammu division, who assembled at the site of hunger strike at Dogra Chowk, raised noisy slogans against the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department and the Secretary of the department for misleading the Union Government and the Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu over the sensitive MGNREGA issue.
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In his address, the AJKPC president alleged that the Rural Development department and its Secretary, Sheetal Nanda had been misleading the Union Government and J&K Lieutenant Governor over MGNREGA issue. It is highly unfortunate that poor labourers who executed works and the mates who expended their hard earned money to manage the development works have been facing hardships due to non-clearance of their dues, the AJKPC leader said, adding that they had put the UT Administration on a legal notice for 15 days for resolution of the issue but the Administration did not bother to address the genuine issue of the people.
AJKPC leader also condemned the biased attitude of J&K Administration for not granting any ex-gratia to the family of Sarpanch, who was recently killed by militants during a Back to Village programme in Anantnag on November 26.
What more can be unfortunate than the fact that the administration has discriminated the deaths of an officer and a Sarpanch while announcing ex-gratia for the former. While the J&K administration has sanctioned a special ex-gratia of Rs 30 lakhs in favour of the next of kin of Junior Agriculture Extension Officer (JAEO), the Lieutenant Governor has only directed the Rural Development Department to process the compensation case of the NoKs of the Late Sarpanch, Syed Mohammad Rafi, Sharma said.
It reflects that J&K administration does not give any value to the life of the elected Panchayat members. This kind of attitude is quite shocking and shameful, Sharma regretted.
The Panchayat members also demanded adequate security cover to Sarpanches and Panches in vulnerable areas and enhancement of their monthly honorarium from existing Rs 2,500 (Sarpanch) and Rs 1,000 (Panch) to a respectable and reasonable amount.
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