‘Government has not given us anything in charity’
The state employees Wednesday asked the mainstream parties not to play politics over the government’s decision of enhancing their retirement age, saying doing so would be a “shameful act” on their part. They lauded the role of ruling coalition partners, NC and Congress, in getting the retirement age enhanced.
“It was our right and we deserved it,” senior leader of Employees’ Joint Consultative Committees (JCC), Abdul QayoomWani told reporters here.
Omar Abdullah-led Government Tuesday enhanced the retirement age of the employees by two years from present 58 to 60 years. The Government also increased the upper age limit for applying for Government jobs by three years, from present 37 to 40 years.
“Government has not given us anything in charity,” said Wani who was flanked by other JCC members. “We appeal and request all political parties not to make an issue out of it and if they intervene in an administrative matter it would be shameful on their part.”
Wani said the “victory” came only after “numerous sacrifices” given by employees across the state.
He said the employees and leaders had to go to jail on several occasions and they were at times beaten ruthlessly for seeking implementation of the demands.
“We are not a political party. However, we will give the credit to the coalition government for fulfilling our demand,” Wani said.
He disclosed that JCC on Tuesday took up several demands of the employees with the Chief Minister “who assured us of solving the same at appropriate time.”
“Some demands require cabinet considerations and the Chief Minister promised that these demands will be addressed swiftly,” Wani said.
He said it was the sustained struggle by the employees which led to the “victory”. “I thank employees for remaining steadfast during this struggle. They were jailed, baton-charged and had to face ESMA and dies-non (no pay no work) but they showed unity and persisted with the demands,” Wani said.
On the occasion the JCC members thanked the state government for agreeing to their demands. They also thanked pro-freedom leaders for their “moral support” in their struggle.
“It is a wrong notion that EJAC has only appreciated the role of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. We always mention and appreciate the role of the Congress also,” he said, adding that whole credit goes to Coalition government and not to a single person or single political party.
Wani also urged the Government to revoke the suspension order of President of the Doctors Association Kashmir, DrNissar-ul-Hassan.
Other JCC members who were present on the occasion included Rouf Ahmad Bhat and ShabnamQayoom.